Three men were stabbed when a fight broke out, reportedly over a referee’s call, during a soccer game between two adult teams Sunday at a high school in Whittier, Calif.
The brawl erupted shortly after 12:30 p.m. Pacific time when a man, who was described by police as wearing a black T-shirt and being about 20 years old, started swinging a knife, injuring three men who were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening wounds. KTLA reported that a coach, angered by a foul call he thought was bad, initiated the fight by throwing the first punch.
“The teams started arguing, but then they calmed down,” Adrian Marquez, a witness, told KTLA. “What got everything heated was when the coach — he punched one of the opposing players . . . and that’s when everyone got involved. Everybody — the whole teams. It was crazy.”
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Rene Garcia, a sergeant with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, told the Whittier Daily News that the melee was like “a benches-clearing brawl.” About 20 to 30 people were attending the game, which was part of an adult league that plays at El Camino High on weekends. None of the brawl participants were injured, she added.
Police continue to search for the suspect, who hopped a fence and fled the scene. Two victims were stabbed in the upper torso and one in the right arm.
“Man, why do you gotta bring a knife, you know?” Marquez added. “Everybody came to have fun, you know? It’s supposed to be friendly. We bring our families, our kids, just to have fun.”