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Lakewood Sheriffs arrest suspect at the carnival.


By Tammye McDuff

The Hawaiian Gardens City Council, at its April 23 meeting, got an ear full from angry residents concerning the 55thannual carnival that, for the first time, was held at Fedde Middle School the weekend of April 13.

The City first took the time to outline the successes of the carnival. The City needed to use a shuttle, since the carnival was held at Fedde, running from five different locations, the City reported that over 470 passengers used the service.

Ticket sales were up from the previous year with presale tickets totaling $65,660, with onsite ride tickets tallying $50,819. 276 unlimited ride wristbands were sold at $25 each, no report was given about last year’s wristband sales.

Mayor Myra Maravilla noted, “I know that we changed a lot of things this year, and I am really pleased with how many used the shuttle service and the wristbands. Just want to thank everyone that helped to put on this event. I have never seen that many people attend one of our city events.” Each City Council member then took turns talking about the success of the carnival.

But not everyone at the meeting agreed with Maravilla and the Council.

The night of the carnival, HMG-LCCN was sent pictures and videos of Sheriff’s holding shotguns and was told of a possible shooting; the callers also said the carnival was on lockdown for over an hour.


VIDEO: Gang Fight at Hawaiian Gardens Carnival Last Night, Sheriff’s Placed Carnival on Lockdown


A later statement by the City indicated it was a gang fight and no shooting had occurred.

Yet Lakewood Sheriff’s Sergeant Maese stated at the council meeting that a hand gun was confiscated from one young male, “whether or not he was going to use that on the premises, we don’t know.”

Maese continued, “there was a small fight with high school students, in my opinion it was not a gang fight. There were some associates from local gangs, but that broke up rather quickly. Approximately 15 minutes after the juvenile incident there was a pursuit that was related to a drunk driver which was unrelated to any carnival incident. It did end up at the carnival and we had officers rush to protect those residents that were waiting in line. The helicopter was related to this incident and we did close the gates for 36 minutes.”



Maravilla followed up saying the sheriffs were holding shotguns, but they were yellow indicating that they had stun bags and not shotgun shells and “were only deployed because of the pursuit.”


Lakewood Sheriffs with shotguns at the carnival.



Resident Joe Cabrera got so angry that he was removed from chambers. “This is disinformation, you have propagated this in your carnival presentation. We were just told money was made and this was reason enough to obscenely disrupt the lives of our children.”

Former Mayor and Councilman Reynaldo Rodriguez slammed the council saying, “I hate to rain on your parade but after all this patting yourselves on the back it was not all that great. For you, the council and even the sheriff’s department to say nothing serious happened at that carnival is deplorable. There were ten sheriff patrol cars, one helicopter that was called to an incident that occurred on that Saturday. And what’s more the sheriffs came with their weapons. The sheriff department confined the area for approximately one hour. You couldn’t get in or out.”

Rodriquez continued, “ABCUSD Board Vice President Olga Rios made the comment at their board meeting about the alleged shooting and how frightening it was, so don’t pretend that nothing happened! I also heard that numerous residents had attempted to contact city hall regarding the police activity and were told that nothing significant had taken place.”

Rodroguez finished, “you better think about what you are doing. There just might be a [City Council] recall in the near future.”