Riot Damages Assessed

Rioting in the aftermath of the “British Invasion 2K6” at San Bernardino, Calif.’s National Orange Show fairgrounds caused damage to local businesses totaling $250,000, and city officials want assurances from the venue there won’t be a repeat performance.

While neither San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris nor interim Police Chief Mike Billdt would discuss details of an agreement proposed to the fairgrounds, Morris told the Riverside Press Enterprise it goes beyond a requirement for fairgrounds staff to plan future security arrangements with police input.

Billdt said more than 50 businesses were damaged in the March 4th riot, which broke out when police dispersed a crowd with tear gas after a fight reportedly broke out between a small group of skinheads and other concertgoers.

While Morris said city officials would act as advocates for the damaged businesses, he declined to tell the paper what standing they may have to seek reimbursement for property damage.

In the meantime, Orange Show attorney Ron Skipper told the Press Enterprise he has directed his staff to send damage claims to the insurance carriers of the fairground and concert promoter Ezzat Soliman.

To date, few claims have been received by the Orange Show but at least one business owner, David Ha, reported $34,000 in damage to his furniture store including $14,000 for glass.

Shortly after the incident, Soliman told Pollstar he had paid for the level of security the venue deemed sufficient, as well as insurance and rental fees for the fairground and pavilion.

Ha told the paper he supports the mayor’s efforts to get the Orange Show to help damaged business.

“It’s the right thing to do,” he said.