Justice: 9 teens arrested after dozens attacked off-duty Marines on California beach
The viral footage shows the Marines being chased by the kids after they had asked them to stop lighting fireworks near the San Clemente Pier Bowl
May 31, 2023 7:09am
Updated: May 31, 2023 11:44am
Nine arrests have been made in the wake of a shocking video that was shared on social media, showing the moment a group of around 30-40 teenagers and young adults viciously attacked three off-duty marines on a California beach during Memorial Day weekend.
Four males and one female were arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and were admitted to the juvenile hall, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Four other minors were reportedly charged with misdemeanor assault and battery, according to CBS News.
The teens' identities have not been released because they are minors, authorities said.
The arrests stem from an event captured on video that shocked the nation this past weekend, with viral footage showing the Marines being chased by the kids after they had asked them to stop lighting fireworks near the San Clemente Pier Bowl on Friday at around 9:50 p.m.
"They were lighting off fireworks, they were being belligerent, they were being obnoxious and annoying other people, so I went up to them and told them to stop," said one of the Marines who was attacked, Hunter Antonino.
“We told them we were Marines so they would leave — but they didn’t. They just kept going at it,” he added.
At one point, someone in the group yells “Get the f–k outta here” before another person runs up and punches one of the Marines from behind. The Marine reacted by punching his attacker.
Once in the middle of the mob, the Marine continues to be attacked and eventually falls to the ground, where he is continuously beaten.
The video then shows two of the Marines crunched up on the floor in the fetal position as the unruly mob of teenagers continues to punch and stomp them. The third marine was also attacked, although it is not shown in the video.
The video, which is almost one minute long, ends when a man and a woman intervene and tell the teenagers to stop.
At least 30 teenagers and young adults were involved in the attack, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Authorities said they would investigate the attack “until all individuals responsible are identified and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
By Tuesday, at least five juveniles were arrested in connection to the assault. The suspects face felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon, according to the sheriff’s department. Their identities were not released given the age of the suspects.
"This is considered an assault with a deadly weapon because of the amount of suspects we are investigating," said Orange County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Frank Gonzalez.
"The weapons that were used were their feet while these victims were on the ground. So, regardless if the victims choose prosecution or choose medical attention the sheriff's department is going to investigate this to the fullest and try to determine who the suspects are."
San Clemente Mayor Chris Duncan told the New York Post that police have arrested the main suspects among the group of up to 40 that attacked the three Marines on Memorial Day weekend near the Pier Bowl.
“They think they have the people they are looking for,” Duncan said. “Not to say that there might not be a few others out there. They feel pretty confident that they have the main perpetrators.
“In today’s age, you’re going to get caught — people are going to record it,” said Duncan. “I hope this serves as a learning lesson for young folks in the community not to let themselves get out of control when something like this happens.”