Crime - Sacto 911

Three people arrested after opening night brawls at the California State Fair

Sydney Saniao discusses her State Fair arrest: 'I got booked for no reason'

Sydney Saniao, 18, of Federal Way, Wash., outside Sacramento County Main Jail in Sacramento after her release from custody on Tuesday, recounts the events that led to her arrest late Friday at the California State Fair. Prosecutors declined to fil
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Sydney Saniao, 18, of Federal Way, Wash., outside Sacramento County Main Jail in Sacramento after her release from custody on Tuesday, recounts the events that led to her arrest late Friday at the California State Fair. Prosecutors declined to fil

Three people were arrested Friday at the California State Fair on an evening that saw a fight near the midway, the early closure of admission gates and the ejection of as many as 60 people from the fairgrounds, according to law enforcement officials and arrest records.

One Cal Expo police officer, Laura Hom, broke her leg as she was “escorting an unruly person out of the fair,” said California State Fair General Manager Margaret Mohr.

“It’s too bad,” Mohr said. “She’s a very good officer.”

Details of what happened at Cal Expo on Friday night have been sketchy, with the fair offering little in the way of specifics. Mohr earlier said there were no injuries or arrests Friday.

Two of the three people arrested on Friday night were adults, according to Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department arrest records. Anthony Dwain Veiga, 28, was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct, arrest logs show. Veiga was released on bail Saturday from Sacramento County Main Jail.

Sydney Anne Saniao, 18, was arrested on suspicion of assault with intent to cause great bodily injury by Fulton-El Camino Park District Police officers, who assisted Cal Expo police on Friday. Saniao was held through the weekend in lieu of $25,000 bail at Sacramento County Main Jail. She was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon, but the District Attorney’s Office declined to file charges and she was released.

Shanita Minor was arrested by the Cal Expo Police Department on Friday, July 14.

The third person arrested was a juvenile, according to Fulton-El Camino Park District Police.

One disturbance appears to have stemmed from “a verbal dispute” between individuals inside the fair before starting up again in one of the parking lots, said Jim Brown, deputy chief of Fulton-El Camino Park District Police. Brown described those involved in the altercation as “mostly a group of young teen kids,” and estimated that “maybe a total of 60 people” were sent off the grounds.

After the Friday incident, two unrelated groups of ethnically diverse teenagers attending the fair said they were racially profiled by California State Fair police prior to being kicked out. Shanita Minor, a 17-year-old student at Cosumnes Oaks High School, suffered a fractured thumb and a concussion from her encounter with officers. Minor said she was standing with two friends near the carousel when she was told to leave. She said she was not involved in any fights.

On Monday, Cal Expo police referred questions about the fights and accusations of racial profiling to State Fair officials. Mohr said police had no reports of injuries or arrests on Friday night. She said she didn’t know if police tracked numbers of people it removes from the fair premises. She also declined to say how many police officers the fair employs.

Cal Expo officials on Saturday said staff closed the fairgrounds’ gates at 9 p.m., an hour earlier than the 10 p.m. closing, but declined to say if the Friday night incident and the call to close the gates were related. At that time, they described the incident as a “dust up” involving at least two teens.

On Friday night, a Sacramento Police Department helicopter was called to Cal Expo on a report of a “large fight,” said Sgt. Matthew McPhail, a department spokesman. “The helicopter assisted ground units where the problem was,” McPhail said.

The helicopter hovered over “a large crowd at the fairgrounds” just after 11:30 p.m. Friday, according to a report on the department’s website.

High school student Shanita Minor explains her arrest at the State Fair at Cal Expo in Sacramento on Friday evening.

Darrell Smith: 916-321-1040, @dvaughnsmith

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