Community activists condemn Fiesta Gardens fighting

Vicious brawls at an east Austin park -- caught on camera

AUSTIN - Community activists and people who visit the Fiesta Gardens park often say Sunday evenings brawl and fights that happen at the park are not a true representation of their East Austin community.

The park is located east of I-35, between Town Lake and Martin Middle School.

APD said it is monitoring the fighting and they have received reports of assaults and reckless driving in the past.

"What are they thinking?” said Angelica Rangel, a community activist, involved with the East Austin and Montopolis neighborhoods. “They're going to kill their own children or someone else's child."

Rangel said she not only condemns this behavior but said "I was embarrassed."

She said she has fought the City of Austin three years to preserve Fiesta Gardens park.

"We've got people from all over the state, all over the country making fun of us in Texas," said Rangel. "Making fun of us as Latinos. Our 'raza.' That we don't know how to act. That we're animals we belong in cages. No, we don't. We're educated individuals."

Tino Dominguez grew up in the park and worked to save it as well.

"I used to come out here every Sunday,” Dominguez said. “Unfortunately, with everything going on, I mean, I don't like bringing my kids out here to witness something like that."

Austin police said they received a disturbance call Sunday about fighting and of someone driving in donuts. But they have not received a report from anyone involved in the fight.

Dominguez said it appeared to involve car clubs.

He is in a different one and said the fights do not represent most clubs.

"A lot of these other little ‘car clubs’ that are out now, are just little fly-by-night clubs,” said Dominguez. “That just put a sticker on their car and automatically consider themselves a car club."

Dominguez and Rangel said there have been a lot fights and destruction.

But the park has hosted car shows, school supply drives and family barbecues, which they want to keep.

"It's for the kids,” said Angelica Rangel. “How dare you go and destroy property? Those kids can't do flag football. They can't do soccer. They can't do baseball. Our kids need an outlet so they don't become the adults we saw out there acting a fool in the street."

Moving forward, activists said they are working with Austin police and with the "Austin Texas Area Car Club Council" or Team ATX to protect and preserve Fiesta Gardens park.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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