Sword-wielding man dressed as ninja injures soldiers training at California airport


Police say the sword-wielding man slashed the soldier before hurling a piece of asphalt at another. (Kern County Sheriff’s Office)

(NEXSTAR) – A man in California has been arrested after striking a special operations soldier with a sword and injuring another with a piece of asphalt, all while dressed in “full ninja garb,” according to an incident report that has since been confirmed by a U.S. Army spokesperson.

On Sept. 18, police responded to a report of an assault at the Inyokern Airport in Inyokern, where 26 special operations soldiers were “hunkered down” in a hangar following the attacks, Stars and Stripes reported.

Police were able to locate the suspect, who then “brandished the sword at deputies” before officers deployed non-lethal projectile rounds, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. The suspect ran off, after which deputies used a Taser to subdue him and place him under arrest.

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The sheriff’s office has identified the attacker as 25-year-old Gino Rivera. He has been charged with attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, brandishing a weapon, brandishing a weapon with the intent to resist or prevent an arrest, vandalism, and obstructing/delaying a peace officer in the discharge of their duties, according to police.

One of the victims told officials that he was smoking a cigarette outside the hangar when the suspect approached and asked if he knew who he was, or where his family was. The soldier replied that he did not, at which point the man slashed him with the sword.

The soldier then ran back to the hangar, where he and another soldier began locking the doors. The suspect followed, kicking and punching the doors, before grabbing a chunk of asphalt and throwing it through a window, striking one of the victims.

The suspect threw a rock into the hangar, injuring a soldier, before police arrived and apprehended the attacker. (Kern County Sheriff’s Office)

The suspect was also dressed in “full ninja garb,” according to an incident report that began circulating on social media. The report was later verified by an Army spokesperson who spoke with Stars and Stripes.

Both victims were transported to the hospital for treatment, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office said.

Rivera is currently being held on a $125,000 bond ahead of a hearing on Oct. 25, according to Kern County inmate records.

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