3 Arrested, Officer Punched as Tensions Flare at ‘Patriot Picnic’ in San Diego’s Chicano Park

A San Diego police officer was punched in the face and three people were arrested Saturday during a clash at Chicano Park between a small group holding a “Patriot Picnic” and a larger gathering of park supporters defending its cultural roots.

Counter-demonstators chant during a "Patriot Picnic" demonstration at Chicano Park in San Diego on Feb. 3, 2018. (Credit: Sandy Huffaker / AFP / Getty Images)

Counter-demonstators chant during a “Patriot Picnic” demonstration at Chicano Park in San Diego on Feb. 3, 2018. (Credit: Sandy Huffaker / AFP / Getty Images)

San Diego police reported three arrests, one for battery on a police officer. The officer suffered a bloody nose as he tried to arrest a suspect who refused an order to get out of the street, said Lt. Scott Wahl. The suspect was not injured, Wahl said.

The event started about 10 a.m., with police initially reporting that both groups were “law-abiding and peaceful.”

But as the crowd ballooned to an estimated 700 people, Chicano Park advocates far outnumbered the 50 or so “picnickers,” who staged the event in an attempt to hoist the American flag at the park, where the Aztlan and La Raza flags fly. A U.S. flag flies in a corner of the park near a veterans monument.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.