Gang melee disrupts football game

The first game of the season for a Bayview Pop Warner football league was disrupted today by a 30-person gang melee at Philip and Sala Burton High School.

Fighting broke out at 2 p.m. between juvenile gang members affiliated with the Oakdale, Baldwin, Harbor Road and West Mob gangs, most of whom had turned out to see younger family members compete, said Lt. Michael Connolly of the SFPD’s Bayview Station.

“The first fight started, and then tensions escalated and it went large-scale,” Connolly said.

Officers were stationed at the game — a few similar fights took place last season — but it took more than 30 police officers to dispel the tensions, Connolly said. No weapons were found, two youths were arrested for instigating the fight and released to their parents.

One person sustained injuries — a bump to the eye.

“[The person injured] had to be wrestled to the ground [by police], but he was fighting before, so we don’t know how he got his injury,” Connolly said.

Connolly called the incident “very disappointing” for players and their supporters.

“They work hard and put a lot of effort into it, and then it’s ruined by the crowd,” he said.

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