40-person brawl at Raging Waters started over beach towel

This article originally appeared on KCRA.com

Raging Waters was shut down early Sunday afternoon after a large fight that started over a beach towel nearly killed a man, officials said.

The 40-person brawl began around 3:30 p.m. by the Lazy River picnic area after a disagreement between two women over who took whose beach towel, said Everest Robillard, the Cal Expo police chief.

Christopher Neves, a 35-year-old Modesto resident, tried to break up the fight but was attacked by three other people who jumped in after him, Robillard said.

The fight grew to about 40 participants, with a smaller group trading blows and the rest exchanging insults, Robillard said.

Officers arrived and found Neves without a pulse or heartbeat for an unknown amount of time. Robillard said CPR was administered on scene, and his heartbeat returned before he was carried out on a gurney and transported to UC Davis Medical Center.

Cal Expo officers called Sacramento Police and park rangers to assist fearing that the fight would resume later, Robillard said.

Rick Iafrate, general manager of Raging Waters, said he closed the park early because of the brawl.

“The safety of all Raging Waters Sacramento guests is our top priority,” Iafrate said in a statement sent to KCRA 3.

Guests were cleared out at their own pace, not the way officials would clear during an evacuation, Robillard said.

There were a slightly larger amount of officers present at Cal Expo while a cannabis festival was simultaneously happening, Robillard said.

No arrests were made, but all the people involved in the fight were identified, photographed and released. If Cal Expo police feel they have enough evidence to press criminal charges against the combatants, Robillard said the district attorney will have to support the prosecution for arrests to be made.

Alcohol was a factor leading to this fight, Robillard said.

Neves remains in intensive care at UC Davis Medical Center, Robillard said.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/40-person-brawl-at-Raging-Waters-started-over-14377909.php.

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