Officers find knives, bat, crowbar scattered around local park

A gang fight in Forest Grove’s Bard Park in the 2800 block of 22nd Avenue sent one man to the hospital and two youths to the Washington County Juvenile Department.

A total of 17 officers from Forest Grove, Cornelius and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office raced to the park around 4:30 p.m. last Wednesday after a caller reported a fight involving 10 to 15 young men, according to Forest Grove Police Captain Mike Herb.

A youth carrying a baseball bat met police and told them his friend had been stabbed. Police confiscated the bat and found the 18-year-old victim sitting in front of a home on the same block, with friends applying pressure to his stab wounds.

An ambulance took the injured man to Legacy Emanuel Hospital. The injuries were not life-threatening, Herb said.

Scouring the area for other participants in the fight, officers found a youth in a nearby parking lot with a loaded .38 caliber revolver hidden beneath his clothes, Herb said. A separate youth admitted to having the gun earlier, Herb said. Both boys, Forest Grove residents aged 15 and 17, were arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm.

Officers discovered additional weapons lying in the park and along its fence line, including several knives, a crowbar and another baseball bat. Officers thoroughly checked the park and cleared it of all weapons, Herb said.

Often witnesses call 9-1-1 about a fight when the opposing sides are still in the posturing phase, Herb said. There may be yelling and pushing but no actual weapons yet involved.

Large gang fights have been reported in Forest Grove before, particularly around the Lincoln Park skate park, Herb said, but “this would be the first incident of this scale so far this year.”

It follows a recent increase in gang graffiti throughout western Washington County, he said. The Inter-Agency Gang Enforcement Team is assisting Forest Grove officers with the ongoing investigation.

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