Huntington Beach Riots Follow Surf Contest
Updated at the bottom with police saying eight people were arrested. Also, see a statement from the U.S. Open of Surfing. First posted at 9:22 p.m. Sunday.
Porta-potties go down in Huntington. Image via Iron Rand / YouTube.
Unrest revisited the annual ASP surf contest in Huntington Beach tonight, echoing the 1986 riots but not mirroring the level of vandalism and violence seen back then.
Officers trying to break up a fight were met with unruly crowds that " began fighting, damaging property and refused to disburse," according to a Huntington Beach Police Department statement:
Huntington Beach pic.twitter.com/Dn18wXC1xq— Victoria (@victoriazie) July 29, 2013
The 8-day contest and associated festivities ended at 5 p.m. and crowds were leaving when cops came across a "large" fight on Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway at 7:16 p.m., police said.
A witness told KCAL9 news that people in the crowd were throwing bottles at police. There were also reports that some rioters tipped over porta-potties at or near the event.
People in Huntington Beach were destroying those mini newstands and throwing chairs.— Victoria (@victoriazie) July 29, 2013
Unruly crowds then moved toward downtown, Huntington Beach cops said. According to the department:
HBPD requested mutual aid from other agencies to help disburse the crowd. The area was declared an unlawful assembly and officers have moved in to deal with the crowd and make arrests. The police now have control of the downtown area and the disturbance quelled.
No arrest numbers were available.
[Update at 12:28 a.m. Monday]: Organizers of the ASP World Tour event known as the U.S. Open of Surfing issued this statement over night:
We're extremely disappointed and saddened by the disturbance that occurred up on Main St after the close of the US Open of Surfing. We work tirelessly with City staff, police, fire and other agencies to ensure a safe environment for all. We appreciate the quick response of HBPD and are awaiting further information.
[Update at 12:50 a.m. Monday]: Police say they made eight arrests for alleged failure to disperse. According to an HBPD statement:
The Huntington Beach Police Department restored order at approximately 9:00 PM. 8 arrests were made for failure to disperse and those suspects were booked at the city jail. Damage included damage to city vehicles, portable toilets, newspaper racks, broken windows and street signs. Loss of property is still being determined. No injuries were reported. We are seeking additional suspects and request anyone with pictures, video or information to please call the Huntington Beach Police Department Hotline at 714 375-5066.