Huntington Beach Chaos; Police Probe Into Social Media

Huntington Beach Chaos; Police Probe Into Social Media

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Huntington Beach, CA -

Huntington Beach police made eight arrests and will continue to look for offenders following about two hours of fights, vandalism and other violence at the end of the Van's U.S. Open of Surfing, authorities said.

City leaders, meanwhile, pledged to take a look at what happened to prevent a replay of this weekend's rioting.

Mayor Connie Boardman, appearing at an afternoon news conference with the chief of police and city council members, said a task force would be assembled soon.

"Our downtown task force, including residents, business owners and the city council, will be formed within the next two weeks, and I am confident that the task force will develop recommendations to make this event safer next year," Boardman said.

The city was also going to launch a "dedicated website" to help law enforcement track down culprits, Boardman said.

"Although this year's U.S. Open of Surfing ended on an undesirable note, this event has always been enjoyed by our residents, tourists and families, however, we do know this impacts on our downtown residents and city," Boardman said.

Police Chief Kenneth Small thanked neighboring law enforcement for pitching in to quell the disturbances and applauded his officers for showing restraint.

"We were able to quickly bring the incident under control last night," Small said. "There were very few minor injuries and there was some, but minimal, damage to public and private property. In order to bring this incident under control, there was limited and measured use of force by law enforcement officers, including the use of pepper balls and non-lethal projectiles."

"However, I want to make clear that the law enforcement officers in my view used a great deal of restraint when facing a barrage of bottles, bricks, rocks and other devices being thrown at them from a crowd of people who repeatedly failed to disperse after being ordered to do so, the chief said." Several officers sustained minor injuries and at least one person in the
crowd was taken to an area hospital and was later released after being struck with a rubber bullet, Huntington Beach police Lt. Mitch O'Brien said.

The chief went on to say he was saddened the annual event was tarred. "Each year the U.S. Open of Surfing is a draw to hundreds of thousands of people from around the world to enjoy Huntington Beach and the beauty of our city," Small said. "We are by far one of the safest communities in America. I am saddened that a small group of people created last night's disturbance and left a blemish on what was otherwise a safe and fun nine-day event.

"The police department is committed to doing everything possible to identify those responsible for last night's disturbance and ensure that they are held criminally responsible for their actions. In fact, we have already identified some of the suspects and our detectives will be working closely with the district attorney's office to file criminal charges against them and arrest
them as quickly as possible," the chief said.

Any evidence can be sent to an email address set up by city officials, Tips also may be phoned in to a city hotline at (714) 375-5066.

The eight suspects arrested were identified as:
Michael John Lytle, 30, of Anaheim, who was booked on suspicion of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest; Andres Gomez, 24, of Huntington Beach, who was booked on suspicion of
refusing to disperse and resisting arrest; Michael Anthony Avila, 28, of Santa Ana, who was booked on suspicion of resisting or delaying a police officer; Joseph Monterrosa, 28, of Ontario, who was booked on suspicion of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest; Adam A. Cecot, 18, of Irvine, who was booked on suspicion of refusing to disperse and unlawful assembly; Chase Scott Christman, 19, of Simi Valley, who was booked on suspicion of vandalism, urging destruction of property, refusal to disperse and unlawful assembly; Kyle Roger Crott, 18, of Riverside, who was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer and resisting arrest.

"Damage included damage to city vehicles, portable toilets, newspaper racks, broken windows and street signs," O'Brien said. It started about 7 p.m. at Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway, following the final day of the eight-day surfing competition.

"A large fight broke out, and when officers attempted to break up the disturbance, the crowd moved into the downtown area," O'Brien said.  "The crowds began fighting, damaging property and refused to disburse," he said. Video from the scene showed officers standing on broken glass from downtown business windows and firing pepper rounds at some of the young men they pushed away.

People noted on Facebook that there were several videos on YouTube and Instagram clearly showing vandals' faces that should prove helpful to investigators.


From Bob Decastro:

Police say they are sifting through photos and video of Sunday night's rioting in Huntington Beach to try and identify some those involved.

Crowds seen here... Surging down Main Street Fights broke out...portable toilets were flipped over.. Newspaper stands were vandalized.. A street sign was ripped out... And thrown through the window of a bicycle shop.

The store was looted and a bicycle was stolen.

HB police requested assistance from nearby police departments and used non lethal ammunition to disperse the unruly mobs Our Gina silva talked to one resident caught in the crossfire He was hit by multiple times by rubber bullets Police believe the riot may have been sparked by a huge brawl... Just after the competition had ended around 7 last night.

No one was seriously hurt,but some are concerned what's billed as the world's largest surfing competition has become too large for Huntington Beach to handle.

A special city council meeting will be held tomorrow at 5 pm concerning the disturbance . A task force will be created.

Police are still asking for more footage that witnesses may have to aid in the investigation.

You can email any photos or video to HBPDfiles@


(FOX 11 / AP) Police say eight people have been arrested after a rowdy crowd surged through downtown in the Southern California city of Huntington Beach after the U.S. Open of Surfing, fighting and damaging property.

It happened Sunday night.

Lt. John Domingo tells the news media a large fight broke out, and when officers tried to break it up, the mob surged downtown.

A bicycle shop was looted, and TV reports showed people brawling, overturning a portable toilet, rocking a truck and throwing a chair into a fountain.

Police from several cities were called in. Domingo says arrests were made for disturbing the peace, unlawful assembly and inciting a riot. One person was held for assault with a deadly weapon on an officer.

Police will look at video, and more arrests could be made.

The weekend surfing competition drew thousands of people to Huntington Beach, a popular surfing spot.

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