Hundreds Of Officers Called In After Protesters Throw Rocks, Bottles
POSTED: 6:55 am PDT May 2, 2006
UPDATED: 9:49 am PDT May 2, 2006
VISTA, Calif. -- Deputies and police officers from all over San Diego County were sent to Vista on Monday night to disperse an unruly crowd at an immigration rally.
The demonstration began peacefully as one of the many "Day Without Immigrants" demonstrations that took place around the county. But at about 8 p.m., some of the 800 to 1,200 protesters began throwing rocks and bottles at deputies, sheriff's Lt. Phil Brust said.
Between 150 and 200 officers from police departments in Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Coronado, El Cajon, Escondido, La Mesa, National City, Oceanside and the California Highway Patrol formed riot lines and marched toward the demonstrators, telling them to disperse.
By midnight, all but about 150 people had gone home. The smaller group made a last stand, throwing more rocks and bottles, Brust said. Deputies warned the mob to disperse or face arrest. At that point, the group broke up and officers cleared the area.
No arrests were made, and nobody was injured during the confrontations.
Extra deputies were assigned to patrol Vista overnight to prevent additional disturbances, NBC 7/39 reported.
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department has a history of tension with Vista's Latino community. Although nearly 50 percent of Vista residents speak Spanish as their first language, not a single deputy patrolling the city's streets is fluent in Spanish, according to the department.