More than a half dozen people — including a pair of elected officials — in the town of Commerce, Calif., reportedly turned to violence after more bureaucratic measures fell flat.
The incident was described in a statement from Mayor John Soria and bolstered by the accounts of others present for the meeting.
He claimed that council members Leonard Mendoza and Ivan Altamirano “became elevated” in the level of their discourse.
Soria said he was attempting to “diffuse” the situation when he realized that Mendoza had been knocked “apparently unconscious.” The other councilman involved had an injury to his face, the mayor recalled.
An ensuing melee reportedly grew to include at least seven brawlers.
Official City Statement
"The City has been made aware of reports of a confrontation between some City officials that took place outside of the City's jurisdiction. Given that, and the fact that the City is unclear on the specifics, the City has no further comment at this time."
— City of Commerce (@CityOfCommerce) May 19, 2019
“I want to be clear in condemning the violent behavior from the individuals who initiated these assaults,” Soria said, indicating that he would press criminal charges and pursue any other appropriate measures against the elected officials.
Mendoza reportedly ended up in the hospital. He told local reporters that Altamirano got in his face during a heated exchange and, before he knew what happened, the fellow council member struck him from behind.