Wait for Jobs Turns Violent in Southeast Fresno

July 27, 2009 6:06:25 PM PDT
Long lines, short tempers and hot temperatures turned into a recipe for an ugly scene that started as a job opportunity and ended with five arrests. Police say people started lining up before 5 a.m., hoping for a job at WinCo. The grocery store is still under construction at Kings Canyon and Peach but the hiring process is already underway.Screams and fighting women interrupted the wait for a job Monday. It happened when hundreds of people showed up to apply for work. Instead, they ended up witnessing this brawl. "Out of nowhere they just start hitting each other, and the next thing you know more people start fighting," said Eduardo Oceguera.

Fresno police officers arrived on the scene within minutes. They say the fight was the result of a longtime family feud. Five people are now facing charges of fighting in public. "One officer arrived, tried to separate the fighters and had to resort to using pepper spray on three or four people," said Sgt. Richard de Jong.

The people who lined up for jobs say tempers started to get short as people waited in the hot sun for hours. Many left disappointed, leaving with only an application. "I thought we were going to be interviewed on the spot. But we got in there, and they gave us this paper, and it says to come back to Piccadilly Inn in a week," said applicant Stephanie Valenzuela.

Still, job seekers are holding onto hope that the wait will be worthwhile. After hours in line, they say they're willing to wait a few more days. "I'm really hoping. I've got a kid on the way, so I'm really hoping I get hired," said Oceguera.

Call to Apply

866-946-2656

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