Earlier this week, the Lakewood Police Department cited a sixth person: 29-year-old Ean Vigil, who's believed to be the person at the center of the initial alert in the matter — the man in the white shirt and teal shorts prominently seen in the clip below. And in talking about this move, LPD public-information officer John Romero revealed, "We're looking at the possibility of citations in the double digits."
The prediction proved accurate. Today, the department released the names of eleven adults who've received citations, in addition to a sixteen-year-old who isn't being identified because of his age.
The adults are:
24-year-old David Anthony Williams of Littleton
55-year- old Ernest Gabriel Vigil of Denver
47-year-old Manuel Miramon Garduno Sr. of Denver
29-year-old Manuel Miramon Garduno Jr. of Denver
26-year-old Darren Jerald Garduno of Denver
29-year-old Danielle Susan McNellis of Denver
29-year-old Ean Jeffrey Vigil of Lakewood
27-year-old Martina Marie Garduno of Denver
30-year-old Melissa Marie Irizarry of Lakewood
29-year-old Maximinio Andrew Marquez of Denver
30-year-old Anaise Ann Amaya of Lakewood
Despite the number of people cited, Romero rejects the theory frequently voiced on social media that the incident has left a black mark on Lakewood's reputation.
"This kind of thing is very rare and not indicative of what our community is and who the people we serve are," he maintains. "We're lucky it's a very isolated incident. This is a great community with great people, and I think everyone understands that most of the people involved in this melee are not from Lakewood."
The scrap took place at Westgate Elementary School and involved teams of seven-year-olds from Bear Creek and Denver. Adults came to blows after a disagreement over a call made by the game's umpire, age thirteen. Here's the video:
These adults took over the field and began assaulting each other on 6/15 during a youth baseball game. We're looking for any info, in particular to ID the man in the white shirt/teal shorts. Several people have already been cited in this fight and injuries were reported. pic.twitter.com/ieenhwCrbU— Lakewood Police (@LakewoodPDCO) June 18, 2019
The reaction to these images was frankly overwhelming, Romero says.
"We expected it to garner some attention," he concedes. "I think we were surprised by the amount of attention it got. But if it makes another parent stop and think before they act out in this way, we'll take it. The hope is that we can prevent future outbreaks, prevent future incidents like this from happening. Hopefully by seeing this video, a parent will stop and think, 'It's not worth it for me or my child.'"
He sees this lesson as one that applies generally to all adults with a connection to youth sports as opposed to something that can be specifically targeted at Lakewood.
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"People are always going to get a little too aggressive at sporting events at any age," he contends. "You would hope that when it comes to seven-year-olds, people would be able to act like the adults they are. Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen. You have to expect that at some point, tempers will flare at an event like that. But it's too bad when it rises to the level of not just shouting and screaming, but of physical violence."
Because the clip received exposure on outlets as powerful as Good Morning America, the Lakewood Police Department was soon inundated with tips about the identity of participants — not that Romero is complaining. "The community did a fantastic job of helping us identify Mr. [Ean] Vigil and other people in the video, and because of that cooperation, we expect more citations in the coming weeks."
At the end of the day, he adds, the department's goal was to cite all of those involved and "get the message out that this is not okay."
This post has been updated to include the list of twelve people cited in the brawl.