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Brawl in Rose Bowl Parking Lot Leads to Stabbing, Arrests

Insert a few dozen brawling fans here (Photo by stephenfalk via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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Booze-fueled tailgating plus deep-rooted college football rivalries equaled volatility late yesterday afternoon when a brawl broke out in the Rose Bowl parking lot ahead of the big match-up between UCLA and USC. The drunken melee grew to involve 50-75 people, according to the LA Times, throwing punches, and, in some cases, wielding knives.One man, 24-year-old CSU Fullerton student Vimal Patel, was stabbed eight times in the back, while his friend, 27-year-old Joshua Dirling was stabbed in the cheek. According to witnesses, the fighting erupted after Patel accidentally tossed a football at a nearby vehicle, and the group of fans to which it belonged confronted Patel angrily, and with weapons.

"Eventually, according to police, as many as 75 people from both groups joined in the fray," reports LA Now.

Patel and Dirling were taken to Huntington Hospital. Dirling's brother Matthew "said a plastic surgeon at Huntington Memorial Hospital told him the tip of the knife is still embedded in his brother's cheekbone, but that it was best to leave it there until doctors see how the wound heals." Patel was taken to the intensive-care unit.

Officers responding to the scene and ultimately booked Arturo Cisneros, 44, "on suspicion of attempted murder, while Steven Radu, 27, and Joshua Elder, 23, were booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon," according to the Star News. "One police officer suffered a sprained ankle, and another suffered a sprained wrist in the pre-game melee."