1 hospitalized in brawl involving several Commerce city officials at Indian Wells Resort

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (KABC) -- A fight that involved several Commerce city officials erupted during a conference in Riverside County over the weekend.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Office responded to the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa in Indian Wells around 12:30 a.m. Saturday for a report of a fight involving at least seven people.

When deputies arrived, they found a man suffering from non-life-threatening injuries. He was transported to a local hospital. Several others were also injured but did not require treatment.

It is unclear who started the fight at an annual seminar for an advocacy group that contracts for public services, but several attendees allegedly threw punches.

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The mayor of Commerce and at least one council member are set to file a police report after a brawl erupted at a weekend convention for city leaders.



Commerce Councilman Hugo Argumedo was there that night and said fellow council member Leonard Mendoza fell to the ground unconscious after being hit at least once by Vice Mayor Ivan Altamirano.

"Next thing I know, I hear a really loud thump, and that was the impact of Leonard Mendoza hitting the ground," Argumedo said.

He said he rushed to help Mendoza, and Altamirano came at him.

"I believe he threw a punch at me," Argumedo said.

The mayor of Commerce released a statement following the incident: "Such behavior is unacceptable and is an embarrassment to the people of Commerce and Southeast Los Angeles. The stakeholders in our community deserve better," Mayor John Soria said.

Soria said he heard Altamirano and Mendoza in a heated discussion, and a short time later, Mendoza was on the floor and Altamirano had suffered a facial injury. The mayor also claims while he and Altamirano were trying to help when they were both jumped from behind.

But Argumedo says the mayor is not telling the truth about what happened.

"I speak only because I heard the mayor make complete false statements, and his statements were more to support the narrative that they want to push, which is wrong," Argumedo said.

Argumedo said he can't say for sure what the fight was about since he wasn't involved in the conversation. Soria said he intended on filing a report and pressing charges. He said he knew who allegedly attacked him but would not release any names until the police investigation was complete.

No arrests have been made. An investigation is ongoing.
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