Gangs square off in Wednesday fight

At least a dozen participants reportedly fought.

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WALLA WALLA -- Two rival gang factions squared off in a fight Wednesday afternoon at Ninth Avenue and Cherry Streets, police said.

The altercation reportedly involved a dozen or more participants, mostly teenaged youths, according to police Sgt. Randy Allessio. He said it appears the two sides mostly scuffled and threw punches resulting in bumps and bruises. But one 20-year-old man suffered a knife wound to his hand reportedly requiring hospital treatment.

When patrol units arrived shortly after the report was received at 2:53 p.m., officers saw youths scattering down alleys, around corners and clustered in groups, Allessio said. Several were questioned and provided names and gang monikers of alleged participants.

No one was arrested at the scene. But, following further investigation, "If criminal charges can be levied, (suspects) will be arrested," Allessio said.

Gang-related skirmishes are not infrequent in Walla Walla, but Allessio said this is the first report he can remember of one involving a weapon since bloody assaults by gang members on non-members outside a residence on Center Street last March.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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