Family of man who died after soccer game brawl in Oxnard demands justice

Family of man who died after soccer game brawl in Oxnard demands justice

The family of a man who died following a brawl at an Oxnard soccer field earlier this month is demanding justice.

Misael Sanchez, 29, died more than two weeks after a fight erupted at Oxnard High School over a referee’s decision during a July 10 game between adult soccer teams.

The brawl apparently involved players and spectators.

Berlin Jose Melgara is shown in a photo released by the Oxnard Police Department on July 28, 2022.

Berlin José Melgara, 46, was believed to have been involved in the brawl and was arrested after a traffic stop following the game, Oxnard police Cmdr. Luis McArthur told KTLA.

Melgara was booked on suspicion of felony assault, but was later released pending further review of the case.

Authorities believe more people were involved in the large altercation, and Sanchez’s family is pleading for others to turn themselves in.

“Misael’s death was not an accident, we don’t wish this pain on any family,” Sanchez’s father said through an interpreter Thursday. “We want justice for our son and ask for your help.”

The family’s attorney, Danielle De Smeth, said her office is investigating the league that leased the soccer field.

“What rules was the league following?” De Smeth asked. “Were repeatedly aggressive players properly sanctioned and removed from play as other leagues commonly do? If not, then we must ask whether the league was living up to its obligations to fairly enforce the rules and protect players who are simply there to play the game.”

Anyone with additional information about the brawl, or has video of the incident, is asked to contact Oxnard police Detective Carey Everhart at 805-486-6228 or carey.everhart@oxnardpd.org, or Detective Jaime Miranda at 805-385-7547 or jaime.miranda@oxnardpd.org.

The agency created a page on their website for witnesses to upload information or video.

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