The mayor of the City of Commerce said Monday he plans to press charges against two people whom he alleged attacked him at a meeting of local government officials at the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort after two Commerce city councilmen got into a fight.
Mayor John Soria describes the brawl that took place at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday in an official statement.
Mayor Pro Tem Ivan Altamirano and Councilmember Leonard Mendoza were having a conversation that “became elevated and I went to the area to defuse any potential conflict,” Soria said. “Upon arriving I witnessed Mr. Mendoza on the floor, apparently unconscious and Mr. Altamirano standing nearby with a facial injury.”
Soria said he attempted to establish “a safe distance between people standing in the area and Mr. Altamirano” while others attempted to render aid to Mendoza.
“Within seconds Mr. Altamirano and I were attacked from behind by two individuals,” Soria said. “Mr. Altamirano was knocked to the ground and I was further attacked by these two individuals, being punched several times on the head and face from which I sustained multiple injuries,” he said.
“I know who the attackers are, but I will refrain from naming them at this time so that the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department can conduct a thorough investigation,” Soria said.
“I want to be clear in condemning the violent behavior from the individuals who initiated these assaults,” he said. “Violence is never the answer, and as elected officials we are held to a higher standard. Such behavior is unacceptable and is an embarrassment to the people of Commerce and Southeast Los Angeles.”