- The Washington Times - Monday, April 20, 2015

Two animal welfare activists were arrested and two circus performers were injured after a fight broke out Friday night at the Ramos Bros. Circus in San Bernardino, California, police said.

Hundreds of spectators watched the fight break out when circus workers allegedly tried to stop the activists from forcing their way inside the big top, a local NBC affiliate reported.

Ringmaster Oliver Ramos said his lip was split open with a megaphone after he tried to stop protesters from attacking his uncle.

“All of a sudden when I turned around one of them jumped on top of my uncle — he’s over 68-years-old — and they started beating on him and I reacted,” Mr. Ramos told the news station. “When I pulled them off, they hit me with a megaphone in the face, and all these ladies started scratching me on the face.”

But protesters, who said they are members of the Direct Action Everywhere group, said they were the ones attacked by the circus performers.

“Employees locked us on the property and wouldn’t let us leave. They assaulted … multiple protestors, some with weapons,” Nicholas Shaw-McMinn told the NBC affiliate.

He also claimed one of the workers placed him in a chokehold during the melee.

“Ramos Bros employees closed the gate, locking the demonstrators in the public grounds outside of the circus, and began to attack, beat, and choke the demonstrators,” according to a statement from Direct Action Everywhere.

One demonstrator was cited and the other was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, the statement said.

The ringmaster said he does not mind activists protesting on the street but wants them to stay off his property.

“These people are just crazy fanatics … it has to stop. These people are getting out of hand,” Mr. Ramos told the NBC affiliate.

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