The Chico Police Department’s Communications Center said dispatchers received a 911 call around 3:26 a.m. “concerning a large fight, with approximately 15 individuals,” in the 1500 block of West Third Street, according to a news release.
Officers located several people leaving from the scene at 1505 West Third St. and learned a fight had occurred between five individuals. After an initial interview with all parties, a report is underway. Based on the levels of intoxication of those involved, no arrests were made at the time of the initial investigation and further follow-up with all involved parties will be completed by the Chico Police Detective Bureau.
Once this case is completed, all investigative reports will be submitted to the Butte County District Attorney’s Office for a review of charges.
No names of the individuals involved have yet been released. However, several posts on social media since the fight have claimed that two men were injured in the fight.
Claims that the two were assaulted because of their race and sexual orientation were addressed by police in a new statement on the Chico Police Department’s Facebook page Monday, addressing a number of calls to the department about the case.
“Specifically, many believe this case to be a hate crime against two individuals involved in the altercation,” according to the post. “We want to assure our community we take these investigations very serious and are completing a thorough investigation into this matter.”
A comment from Chico State’s official Twitter account responded to one of these posts, calling it “this horrific event” and saying “Hate has no place in our community.”
In response to claims online that some individuals involved were employees of Firestorm Wildland Fire Suppression, the company’s president Jess Willis released a statement Monday.
“We are extremely sorry to hear about the incident that occurred over the weekend involving two of our employees.” Willis said. “Currently both employees are not working and administrative action is being taken.”
University police offered assistance but the case is under Chico Police Department investigation.
However, no further information about these individuals has been confirmed by police.
“No further information concerning this case will be released in order to ensure the integrity of the investigation,” Chico police wrote.
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Sandy Parsons-Ellis released a statement Monday on behalf of Chico State:
“Chico State has received reports of a large fight taking place off campus this past weekend that resulted in significant injuries,” Parsons-Ellis said. “We find it important to reiterate at this time that the university condemns violence. The University Police Department is communicating with city law enforcement regarding its investigation of the incident. The Chico State CARE team has been in touch with our student who was involved. Even though this incident took place at a house party in the community, I call on Chico State and the broader community to demonstrate respect, tolerance, and understanding for one another. We must come together to demand better for our future.”