Fists, then chairs fly at country club meeting

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Fists of fury flew in ritzy surroundings in the Mojave Desert this weekend. The latest big fight in Las Vegas? Nope. A homeowners’ association meeting at a Palm Springs-area country club.

The meeting at the seemingly genteel Springs Country Club, a private golf and tennis club and gated community in Rancho Mirage, turned into an all-out brawl that hospitalized two people when members threw punches – and even chairs – over a board of directors election.

“Some people were upset that a certain person won and began yelling at him and pushing him,” Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Myling Bourdeau told the Desert Sun newspaper Tuesday.

The Sunday afternoon meeting began with just yelling, but then led to pushing, then tackling, then punching and chair-throwing, Bourdeau said.

A club security guard pulled his gun from his holster, but kept it at its side, and after getting several emergency calls, deputies arrived to help make peace.

Two people were taken to Eisenhower Medical Center, one who complained of pain and another who had a seizure during the melee.

There were no reports of any arrests, and it was not immediately clear if anyone would be charged or cited.

More than a dozen members confirmed to the Desert Sun that the rumble had happened, but none would give details on exactly what happened.

“The less we talk about it, the more it is forgotten,” resident Denver Ginsey said.

According to its website, the club, founded in 1975, is spread across 385 acres of land and includes homes, an 18-hole golf course, a tennis center with 11 courts, and 46 pools and spas.