Disturbing video posted online shows the moment when police say a mob of teenagers assaulted three military members in California over Memorial Day weekend.
Police say an altercation involving three Marines and several juveniles and young adults happened on Friday, May 26, at the pier in San Clemente, California. Deputies were dispatched at 9:50 p.m. regarding a large group of juveniles and an assault, Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Sgt. Mike Woodruff told Fox News Digital.
Witnesses reportedly saw dozens of people gathering on the T-Street Beach near the San Clemente Pier at around 10 p.m.
A minute-long video posted on Nextdoor, a social media platform for neighbors, shows one person throwing a punch at one of the alleged victims from behind before a large fight breaks out. The injured victim is then seen lunging at his assailant, and then the mob was filmed kicking the victims.
Two victims were filmed lying on the ground in the fetal position and covering their heads as the mob kicked and punched them.
A pair of bystanders intervened in the beating, with one woman putting herself between the victims and their assailants as she outstretched her arms and yelled “Stop!”
Police said the Orange County Fire Authority was on the scene, but all victims refused medical assistance.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident and has promised to identify all suspects involved and prosecute them “to the fullest extent of the law.”
“This is considered an assault with a deadly weapon because of the amount of suspects we are investigating,” Orange County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Frank Gonzalez told local news station KCAL.
“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,” Gonzalez said.
Hunter Antonino, one of the self-identified Marines who said they were attacked, told KCAL they were “stomped on” and “beat up” by the mob.
The confrontation allegedly started when the teenagers were told to stop lighting fireworks, KCAL reported.
Darren Rude, a San Clemente resident who lives nearby, said he saw as many as 40 kids on the nearby beach lighting fireworks before the alleged assault happened. He told Fox News Digital he removed a group of five kids who were smoking pot from his property and said others were drinking.
Rude filmed a fight that broke out on the beach about a half-hour before the alleged confrontation involving the Marines at the pier.
“They started getting rowdy, jumping on top of the restaurant on the beach called West Toast,” Rude told Fox News Digital. “They were yelling, screaming, fireworks going off on top of the restaurant, fireworks being shot at each other.”
Rude said he called police dispatch three times to report the fireworks. He said police told him they knew “it’s going to be a bad summer for fireworks” but said they were too busy to go after kids celebrating graduation at the beach.
Rude said he reported the first fight on a fourth call, this time to 911, and that’s when police sent two cars to the beach. He said he saw officers shine flashlights down at the people on the beach from an overlooking cliff, which prompted the crowd to move toward the pier.
“I really believe that if they had acted earlier they would have prevented it all from happening,” Rude said.