Case No.: 05096734 Date: 7/29/1981
Responding Officer(s): J. Hernandez, M. Hughey Prepared by: M. Hughey
Incident: During the afternoon of Saturday, July 26th, 1981, Officers responded to public disturbance at 7/11 on corner of Elm and 3rd Street N. Appearances of criminal mischief, vandalism, and looting that stemmed from an argument between two individuals, a Mr. Valentine Reynolds, 25, and Robert Lay, Jr., 21 of Sinkwood, CA.
Detail of Event: According to witnesses, at approx. 2315 hours, Robert Lay, Jr., sped into the parking lot of the 7/11, driving a white 1978 Ford Mustang and parked. Mr. Lay paced angrily throughout the lot, which was full of customers lining up to participate and/or spectate in a qualifying round for a state videogame championship, and hurling obscenities, asking individuals “Where the fuck is Val?” and “I’ll put my hand up his ass and hand screw him”, among other threatening phrases. In the opinion of many eye witnesses, it appeared as if Mr. Valentine Reynolds had several revealing and lude photographs in his possession of Mr. Lay in various fornicative positions with a third party who was not present, a Miss Connie Cummings of Sinkwood, CA. (photos in evidence folder 11-A). At one point, Mr. Lay approached the fuel island of the establishment, and began spraying gasoline fuel on Mr. Reynolds’s car, a tan 1981 Chevrolet Malibu, and threatened to ignite it. According to one eyewitness, he was “like a wild man”. At this point, Mr. Valentine Reynolds revealed himself from inside the establishment. Several obscenities were exchanged between the two involving each individual’s mothers and an assortment of household appliances, which, it would seem, then evolved into physical assault between the two.
It is not clear from eyewitnesses -- many of whom are themselves suspect in charges of physical assault and property damage -- but at some juncture, a fight between two men evolved into riot. It is the belief of one eyewitness, a Mr. Edward Freeman, 20, of Sinkwood, CA, that much of the crowd grew infuriated when the store’s single “Asteroids” video machine was destroyed in the rucus, thus infuriating and empowering the crowd, many of whom were at the 7/11 for the sole reason of playing the game and thus qualifying for the state championship in Los Angeles, CA. The store’s owner, a Mr. Carl Deal, 56, of Hanford, attempted to quiet the crowd by handing out free overstock items of the album “Escape” by the rock group, Journey, but to no avail.
Conclusion of Event: The 7/11 location has been closed until further notice. Valentine Reynolds, Robert Lay, Jr., and fifteen other suspects have been incarcerated and are currently awaiting arraignment in Hanford Municipal Jail.