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Probe into brawl at deputies' party goes to prosecutors

March 4, 2011 |  6:42 pm

Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators have submitted to prosecutors the results of an internal criminal probe into a fight that broke out among Men's Central Jail employees at a Christmas party last year.

The violence at a Montebello banquet hall resulted in seven deputies, whose identities have not been released, being relieved of duty pending investigations into the fight.

Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore declined to say how many suspects were included in the sheriff’s investigation, which was turned over Feb. 25.

"There are a number of suspects. It's safe to say yes, the people suspended were part of the investigation," he said.

Investigators conducted more than 150 interviews during the probe into the Dec. 10 brawl, which left several injured.

About 100 guests, including sheriff's supervisors, attended the party. As the night was winding down near midnight, Montebello police received an anonymous 911 call reporting violence in the parking lot.

Recently transferred Men's Central Jail Capt. Daniel Cruz may have been jostled as he tried to calm the situation but was not injured. At least two other deputies received medical attention, officials said.

Although Montebello police first responded to the scene, the Sheriff’s Department took over the investigation.

-- Robert Faturechi