Police say Black Friday Galleria brawl was not over merchandise
Video footage of a fight in the Westfield Galleria mall during Black Friday made national news this week and continues to go viral across the U.S. - though authorities now say it was not a case of frenzied shoppers battling for discounted Christmas gifts.
Some witnesses originally said the melee was over a pair of shoes, while though others reported it was over a pair of panties. However, after several days of investigation, the Roseville Police Department now believes the confrontation had nothing to do with merchandise.
“It was a couple of groups that were talking trash to each other,” said Roseville Police Department spokeswoman, Dee Dee Gunther. “The males had been bumping into each other and exchanging insults, including some gang-related comments.”
The video sweeping the web depicts three men pushing and throwing blows as onlookers cleared out of the way. By Monday morning the images of the violent struggle over merchandise were being played by national news organizations and posted on websites of major newspapers like The San Francisco Chronicle.
The combatants had fled the scene before Roseville police could ascertain who was involved. However, Gunther said that since the parties knew each other more conflict followed that morning around 5 a.m. A teenager who was involved in the fight called authorities to report that his car had been vandalized in retaliation for what happened in the Galleria.
After conducting interviews, Roseville officers joined the Citrus Heights Police Department to arrest Roberto Ivan Volz, 21 and Sandy Orellana, 18, both of Citrus Heights. They were charged with vandalism and gang conspiracy. A 16-year-old male from Citrus Heights was also arrested in connection to the vandalism, as was a 17-year male from Turlock.