Thursday Feb 19 2009
Auburn Greens melee
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
25 fight with knives and baseball bats
At least two people were run down by a car and another may lose his hand after a fight involving more than 25 people broke out in an Auburn residential neighborhood Wednesday. Investigators are still trying to piece together what happened when about 25 people broke out into a fight — with baseball bats and knives in hand — on one the streets of the Auburn Greens neighborhood. The fight was reportedly between two groups, according to Placer County Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Jeff Ausnow. Ausnow said members of the two groups “knew each other and for some reason didn’t like each other.” Around 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sheriff’s Office dispatch started receiving multiple 911 calls that shots had been fired in the area, according to Dena Erwin, Sheriff’s spokeswoman. Erwin said at least two people were run over by a car driven by a female driver while others suffered minor knife wounds and injuries. One victim, however, may lose his hand, Erwin said. Erwin said at this point deputies are unsure how many people were sent to area hospitals. While initial reports indicated someone had been shot, Erwin confirmed Thursday that none of the victims were injured from a gunshot wound. “During the course of the argument, somebody fired a gun into the air presumably to scare away people,” Lt. Jeff Ausnow said Wednesday night. Investigators searched two apartments and seized two firearms. Auburn Greens resident Jason Hill described the scene Wednesday night as “chaotic.” Hill said law enforcement and emergency personnel vehicles flooded the neighborhood and a helicopter was circling low in the area. The area was immediately shut down for most of the night. “It was a major incident,” Hill said. Hill said he often does feel unsafe in the neighborhood he has lived in since July. “When you hear gunshots and stuff, you just never know when a stray might come through your window,” Hill said. Osmond Cardona, who said he has lived in the neighborhood for five years, disagreed, saying he feels safe. “I think everything is good over here,” Cardona said Thursday. “I feel good with my neighbors.” Cheryl Weisenberger, manager of Auburn Greens No. 1, said she’s worked at the complex for almost 15 years. She said with a residential community including more than 600 families, “it’s completely normal for different things to happen.” She said overall she’s feels “very safe” in the neighborhood and described tenants as “wonderful.” She added that some of the trouble the area has experienced comes from outside sources, not residents. “For all my years being here I have always felt really safe,” Weisenberger said. “I feel the residents are safe in here and Placer County deputies did a wonderful job responding.” Authorities are still in the middle of the investigation Thursday, Erwin said. Ausnow said a language barrier made it difficult to interview witnesses and suspects Wednesday. Law enforcement officials would not speculate on whether the incident was gang related. The Journal’s Jenifer Gee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment.