Police officials in California said that the people involved in a brutal brawl in Disneyland that was captured on video by witnesses initially denied a fight happened and refused to cooperate with the police.
Video footage emerged this week showing several people brawling inside the popular theme park, including a black man in a red shirt who repeatedly punched people around him, including women.
Anaheim Police Department Sgt. Daron Wyatt said that detectives investigated after responding to a call but the people involved in the brawl were “uncooperative” so no arrests were made.
“Now that we have the video, detectives will be following up to see if any criminal charges can be filed,” Wyatt told the Los Angeles Times.
The department has defended itself on social media under attack from users, including one who told the department: “This is a joke. You had many eyewitnesses. Disneyland has cameras.”
Not a joke. There has to be an investigation. The parties involved all denied anything occurred and we were not there to witness it. The videos that were not available at the moment make things clear and the case has been presented to prosecutors
— Anaheim PD (@AnaheimPD) July 10, 2019
“Not a joke. There has to be an investigation. The parties involved all denied anything occurred and we were not there to witness it. The videos that were not available at the moment make things clear and the case has been presented to prosecutors,” the department responded.
The department “is aware of a video going viral of a fight inside @Disneyland on Saturday,” it added in a statement on July 8. “We responded to investigate. All parties were from the same family and were uncooperative. A report was taken. There was no video at the time. Now that we have video, the investigation can continue.”
The department presented its case against the people involved to the Orange County district attorney’s office on Tuesday, the department said.
Kimberly Edds, a spokeswoman for the office, told the Times that “police believe there is the possibility of felony conduct.”
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) July 8, 2019
Prosecutors will decide whether or not to file charges; if they do, they will look at any misdemeanor counts along with felonies, Edds noted. If they decline, then the Anaheim city attorney could pursue misdemeanor charges but would likely not press felony charges.
Police indicated that at least some of the people had a relationship with each other in a post on Twitter on Wednesday.
After referencing the video, the department stated: “If you are, or if you know a victim of #DomesticViolence, seek help. In Orange County, the @OCFJCFoundation can help.”
Wyatt, the police sergeant, said that everyone in the video could be charged with fighting in public, a misdemeanor in California.
A violent brawl that was captured on video broke out Saturday among family members at Disneyland as horrified parkgoers ushered children past the melee and bystanders tried to separate the fighters. https://t.co/XT0FK48Ux9
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) July 8, 2019
Some of the individuals may face other charges, he told People magazine.
Child endangerment charges could be brought if any children were present, he said. In the video, children are seen watching the fight. If any of the individuals are in a relationship with someone else who was in the brawl, domestic charges could be filed.
Disneyland Resort spokeswoman Liz Jaeger told the magazine: “Any type of violence is inexcusable and will not be tolerated. Those involved were immediately removed from the premises and turned over to the Anaheim Police Department.”