It was Ninja vs Night Stalker at 1 a.m. in the Mojave Desert. The swordsman in the black disguise was taken into custody by local police after being tased, proving he’s not a magical martial-arts assassin. The real deal would have killed everyone and vanished without a trace. Gino Rivera is really lucky the Special Operations Aviation Regiment let the neighborhood police deal with the loco local wildlife.
Unprovoked Ninja attack
There isn’t a whole lot out there about the story. The only reason that officials admitted the September 18 attack even happened is because part of the report got posted on social media.
They couldn’t deny it because public records available from the Ridgecrest Police Department verify the Reddit post. The Ninja attack happened at California’s Inyokern Airport. Two U.S. Special Operations troops were wounded by the psycho slasher.
After the redacted incident report surfaced Wednesday, Stars & Stripes tried to get in front of the narrative with some damage control on Thursday. The whole thing started when “a staff sergeant Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) was taking a smoke break.”
They call their unit the Night Stalkers. The airman and his cigarette were outside the hanger admiring the warm Mohave Desert early morning “when an unknown person wearing full Ninja garb to include a katana sword” appeared out of nowhere, asking cryptic questions.
“Do you know who I am? Do you know where my family is?” Without waiting for an answer, Gino Rivera started “slashing at the soldier.” Thinking it was some kind of bizarre test from the psy-ops office, the sergeant opted to retreat.
Disengaging from the Ninja with a Benihana complex, the ranger made a strategic withdrawal into the “admin building.” Not before getting sliced and diced by the whacked-out attacker, though.
Lock the doors
Despite bleeding gashes on his legs, the sergeant alerted a captain attached to his unit and together they “began locking all of the doors and calling police.” The pseudo Ninja “began punching and kicking doors and windows of the building.” It got interesting when the assailant grabbed a big chunk of asphalt and tossed “it through one of the windows, striking the captain.”
Medics ended up giving both of them “multiple” stitches. Despite the success with smashing the window, the attacker decided to flee instead of enter the building. He was soon in custody, but not until after another battle.
Ridgecrest Police Department responded to the 911 calls. The transcript says the sword-wielding “male subj in a Ninja costume” had victims “hunkered down in a hanger wondering where help is.”
Major Jeff Slinker with the U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command “initially confirmed the events described in the Reddit post did occur” and he’s not saying another word.
According to Major Chris Lancia, spokesman for 160th SOAR, “We were pleased with the restraint shown by our people, and for letting the authorities handle it. Could they have done something? Probably. Would it have made the situation better? Probably not.” At the time he made the statement neither the assailant’s name or motive were known.
We now have the name of the Ninja but still no clue why he attacked the staff Sargent in the first place or how he got access to the restricted area, especially in that getup. 53-year-old Gino Rivera was charged with “attempted homicide, brandishing a weapon, vandalism and obstruction of a peace officer in the discharge of their duties.”