Beach Towel Argument Leads to 40-Person Brawl at Water Park

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An argument over a beach towel started a 40-person brawl at a Sacramento, California, area water park on Sunday afternoon. One man was nearly killed in the wild fracas that followed, causing the Raging Waters theme park to shut down.

The brawl began around 3:30 p.m. at the Lazy River picnic area within Raging Waters water park in Sacramento after two women disagreed over who should have taken whose beach towel, Everest Robillard, the Cal Expo police chief, told KCRA.

When Christopher Neves, 35, of Modesto, attempted to break up the fight, three other people attacked him and jumped into the fray, Robillard said.

The brawl grew to about 40 people in total, with a subgroup trading physical blows while the rest of the crowd hurled insults at each other.

Officers arrived to discover Neves without a pulse or heartbeat for an unspecified amount of time.

Robillard said first responders administered CPR on scene, and Neves’ heartbeat returned before he was taken to UC Davis Medical Center.

Guests were asked to clear out of the theme park following the incident, KRON reported. Due to the fight, the theme park closed early.

“The safety of all Raging Waters Sacramento guests is our top priority,” general manager Rick LaFrate said in a statement.

Officials say alcohol could have been a factor in how the brawl escalated.

Police did not arrest anyone involved in the brawl, but identified each person involved, photographed them, and released them.

Neves remains in the intensive care unit at UC Davis Medical Center.

Police say the situation remains under investigation.

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