FRESNO.Calif. (KGPE) – Fresno coaches and city officials addressed the arrest of five people after a fight broke out at the Fresno State vs. Boise State football game on Saturday night.
Head Coach Kalen DeBoer was disappointed that the team is making headlines after the brawl, and said the University is working on a safer fan experience going forward.
“Unfortunately, there was an incident and we have to make sure that we do everything we can to not have it happen again,” said DeBoer.
The attention of over 40,000 fans quickly shifted from the field to the bleachers on Saturday night after a handful of fans threw punches at one another during the game.
On Monday, Director of Athletics Terry Tumey and Vice President for Administration Debbie Adishian-Astone released a statement addressing the fight:
“This was a very unfortunate incident and one we are taking very seriously. We regret that this situation occurred as it impacts the game experience and family-friendly atmosphere for our loyal Red Wave fans. Fortunately, our Fresno State police officers responded immediately along with support from other local law enforcement agencies. This type of fan behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. Our Public Safety team together with our Athletic Department personnel will ensure that we have additional security measures in place for this week’s final home game, including modification of our alcohol sales operations. Consideration is being given to reducing time for alcohol sales and fewer purchase locations.“
A man wearing a Washington Football Team 99 jersey did not want his name shared out of concerns for his family’s safety, but he spoke exclusively with our station.
“There was husband and wife in the area,” he said. “The husband was attacked, while the wife was holding her kids. It was chaos.”
He said initially he was not involved in the brawl, but stepped in once he saw one of the men hitting a security guard.
“These guys were attacking the security guards, the only help that was available at the time,” he exclaimed.
Armando Gonzalez took a video of the interaction. In it, you can see pushing and shoving before the man in the 99 jersey and another go through a sign and fall several feet onto the concrete.
“When we fell,” said the man in the 99 jersey. “We hit the floor and then my wrist broke.”
Jersey 99 said he ran and was immediately tackled by police.
He said because he has severe asthma his dad came and pushed an officer to get off his son. The father was arrested for assaulting a police officer.
Police arrested five people in total.
“It is a sad state of affairs when the fans are making the headlines instead of the players on the field,” said Fresno City Councilmember Miguel Arias.
Arias also serves on the Fresno State Alumni board. He was at the game with his family.
He said in the 3rd quarter they left out of safety concern. He reached out to the head of the alumni board and hopes there are changes including increased security and less alcohol served in the future.
“I am confident they will be making those adjustments for the next game to make sure the crowd doesn’t get out of control,” said Arias. “But ultimately it is the responsibility of those in attendance to behave themselves.
The next home game is this Saturday against New Mexico.