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Christmas party brawl leads to 7 L.A. County deputies being relieved of duty pending probe

December 15, 2010 | 10:43 am

A Christmas party for employees from Men’s Central Jail turned ugly when a brawl broke out that resulted in seven Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies being relieved of duty pending an investigation, an official confirmed.

Roughly 100 guests were gathered Friday at the Quiet Cannon banquet hall in Montebello, where an argument led to violence, said sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore.

It’s unclear if alcohol was involved, but “it was a Christmas party, one could assume there was,” Whitmore said.

No gunshots were fired but deputies may have been armed, he said.

“Deputies that have their badges also have guns, so that will certainly be looked at,” he said.

At least two people were mildly to moderately injured, Whitmore said. Seven deputies were relieved of duty with pay this week, pending an internal criminal investigation.

“They’ve been asked to clean out their lockers,” Whitmore said.

Montebello police may have been called out, but no arrests have been made yet, Whitmore said. Relatives may have been at the Christmas party, but only deputies were involved in the brawl, Whitmore said.

“This investigation will go wherever the evidence leads,” he said.

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-- Robert Faturechi

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