One man’s insult of another man’s sister escalated into a 20-person brawl at College of San Mateo on Tuesday, police said.
Police got a call that a fight had broken out between two men near the Snack Shack on the campus’s main quad yesterday just after noon, San Mateo Police Lt. Mike Brunicardi said. The fight sent at least one person to the hospital.
The fight initially broke out between “two guys who don’t like each other” after one said something disrespectful about the other’s sister, Brunicardi said. One of those people was knocked to the ground, so his friends stepped in and began fighting in his defense. In turn, the other’s friends stepped in and the fight escalated, Brunicardi said.
By the time officers arrived on scene, the clash had ended and only some of the participants were still present, he said.
One man was sent to a local hospital with what officers initially thought was a stab wound. But further investigation revealed the injury was a minor puncture wound that had been inflicted by a pipe with a sharp “prolongation,” Brunicardi said.
Police said they don’t believe the violence to have been gang-related, but rather to have been motivated by the disrespectful statement about the sister.
In a written statement issued by College of San Mateo, school officials said the campus security department responded as soon as the fight broke out and managed to quickly restore order. During the next few days, the campus security department will step up its patrols and has also requested extra patrols by the city police, according to the statement.
“We want to assure the community that College of San Mateo is a very safe campus,” CSM President Michael Claire said in a written statement.
That claim was supported by Brunicardi, who said police rarely respond to the college for fights.
“Just speaking from my own memory, I’ve only been up there a few times over the years for any kind of disturbance,” he said.