SAN RAFAEL -- Seven police departments were called to aid San Rafael police after violence erupted when officers broke up a large crowd at a sideshow early Saturday, authorities said.
The confrontation came after peaceful celebrations of Guatemalan Independence Day had ended and throngs gathered at several locations in the Canal neighborhood, police said Saturday.
About 1,500 people celebrated the independence events at Northgate Mall in Terra Linda and in a parking lot in the 1100 block of Andersen Drive. As those events ended, large gatherings took place in the Canal neighborhood, leading to traffic jams, police said.
Officers estimated that hundreds of vehicles and more than 1,000 onlookers were present.
At midnight, officers began to break up the crowd at a sideshow, an illegal display of automotive stunts, at Canal Street and Medway Road. When violence flared, police broadcast an emergency request for aid from other police agencies.
The Marin County Sheriff's Office, California Highway Patrol, Novato Police, Central Marin Police Authority, Fairfax Police, Ross Police, and Mill Valley Police responded, clearing the area by 1:45 a.m., San Rafael police said.
Besides the crowd issues Friday night and early Saturday, police responded to shootings that wounded two people and a stabbing that wounded one.
A 25-year-old man who was shot twice in the 100 block of Novato Street was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. Separately, a 20-year-old man turned up at a hospital emergency room with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound but refused to cooperate with investigators.
A 24-year-old man was stabbed in a fight and was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
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