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Cops bust up Happy Valley riot

Clackamas County Sheriff's Deputies responding to a noise complaint at the Grange Hall on SE 172nd Avenue in Happy Valley June 24 encountered a riot comprising an unruly mob of more than 200 people.

'It was pretty hairy - when you have that many people turn against you, it's scary,' said Detective Jim Strovink, the public information officer for CCSO. 'When that mob mentality takes over and there is a lot of alcohol around and people who are already not well disposed towards the police, it can turn ugly very quickly.'

The first officers to arrive at the scene reported that a fight was already underway, involving upwards of 30 individuals. They immediately called for backup, summoning 20 deputies from around Clackamas County, as well as four officers from the Sandy Police Department and eight from the Portland Police Bureau.

'It was a very tense situation,' Strovink said. 'We just don't have the manpower to respond en masse to make a big impression.

'When you have a situation like that, you try to pick out the instigators, and that's what we were able to do.'

A melee ensued as the officers attempted to arrest the principle agitators rallying the mob against the police.

'We had our nightsticks out, and we were doing what we do,' said Strovink.

Three individuals were taken into police custody, Geronimo Roberto Joaquin among them. The 28-year-old man lunged at deputies in the midst of the brawl, then reached for a pair of collapsible nunchucks tucked in his right pocket during the ensuing struggle.

Deputies responded with a taser and arrested Joaquin.

Also arrested was Salvador Pasaye-Pacheco, 24, who was observed provoking the fight with police. Pasaye-Pacheco was handcuffed and placed on the sidewalk outside the Grange Hall, while officers returned to the melee.

He attempted to flee, but was taken back into custody by officers, who enlisted a bystander to watch over him.

'Not everybody there was bad,' Strovink said. 'A couple of individuals came to the aid of the officers, including that Good Samaritan who kept an eye on that guy.'

The third instigator arrested by police was Valentine Pasaye-Pacheco, 18, who allegedly started the brawl which resulted in the riot. At the time he was taken into custody, the younger Pasaye-Pacheco carried no identification documents and attempted to give the police a false name.

After he was identified, police discovered that this Pasaye-Pacheco had multiple outstanding warrants from Multnomah County for crimes ranging from DUII, reckless driving and reckless endangerment to causing a hit-and-run accident. Following his arrest, he was transferred to the Multnomah County Justice Center.

Throughout the ordeal, which lasted for several hours, no one was injured - either among the responding officers or the brawlers.

'After we broke up the party, we blocked the roadway, to make sure the people leaving the property and heading out on to our roads were sober,' said Strovink.

He was quick to credit the neighboring law enforcement agencies for coming to the aid of the Clackamas deputies embroiled in the riot.

'We are grateful for their help,' he said. 'This is unusual for Happy Valley, but it's unusual for anyplace in the county, really.'

The disturbance put the whole of Clackamas County in a vulnerable situation, according to Strovink.

'We had cars responding from all over the county,' he said. 'When you concentrate all of your resources in one place like that, it leaves you almost paralyzed to deal with anything else that is going on - but you have to respond to those officers who are in jeopardy.'