UPDATE: Five juvenile suspects were arrested in connection with the beating of Marines carried out by a mob of teenagers on a beach in San Clemente, California, over Memorial Day weekend, according to San Clemente Mayor Chris Duncan.
Each suspect was charged with assault with a deadly weapon (ADW), which is a felony, since they used their feet to stomp on the victim’s heads. Duncan said investigators have identified at least four more juveniles involved who may be charged with misdemeanor assault and battery, Fox News reported.
Sgt. Mike Woodroof with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said that anyone, regardless of age, who “kicks another human being in the head to cause damage, internal injury to that magnitude will be arrested for a felony assault deadly weapon.”
SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. – Two U.S. Marines were beaten by a mob at a Southern California beach last week. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the attack recorded on video showing the servicemen being battered by a crowd at the San Clemente Pier.
The May 26 video showed multiple Marines walking away from a crowd of what appears to be primarily teenagers and young adults when someone seems to throw something at one of the men. The Marine turned and charged into the crowd where he is then overwhelmed, getting punched several times, KTLA reported.
A short time later, the footage taken on Friday showed two Marines curled up in the fetal position as they sustained multiple punches and kicks by several individuals in the unruly crowd. Footage from afar suggested about 40 people swarming the Marines during the beatdown.
Finally, some adults from the area broke up the entanglement.
Some fireworks and a sucker-punch appeared to be at the center of the confrontation between the two groups prior to the video activating.
Sgt. Mike Woodruff with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department confirmed during a Tuesday interview that fireworks were likely involved.
“There are statements that are being said about fireworks prior to the incident,” Woodruff said. “But our investigators are looking further into this to see what exactly occurred prior to the fireworks, then (during) the fireworks, and all the way up to the initial assault.”
The department vowed to investigate the attack “until all individuals responsible are identified and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
“This is considered an assault with a deadly weapon because of the amount of suspects,” Sgt. Frank Gonzalez also told KCAL News.
Despite the apparent savagery of the attack, the victims all declined medical treatment, the sheriff’s department said, confirming the other men were Marines.
However, one of the victims, identified by the New York Post as Hunter Antonino, said he fears he may have suffered a concussion after being “stomped on.”
“My face still has, like, blood all over it,” he said. “It wasn’t cool at all.”
Antonino said that he and his friends were enjoying time off from Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, when they asked the teens to stop lighting fireworks after a piece of debris hit him in the face.
“They were being belligerent, they were being obnoxious and annoying other people, so I went up to them and told them to stop,” he said.
As they start walking up some steps, some in the group behind yell for them to “get the f–k outta here” — before one runs up from behind and sucker-punched the trailing serviceman.
After a brief hesitation, the Marine dropped what’s in his hand and charged his attacker, knocking him down, the Post reported.
Instantly, the mob overwhelmed the serviceman by battering him and screaming abuse. “Get that f—er! Get that f—er! F–k that f—er up!” one repeatedly shouts.
The attacked Marine and one of his friends are left to protect themselves in the fetal position on the ground, their hands and arms covering their heads as the mob continues to kick, punch and stomp them.
“What’s good n–ger,” one of the group yelled, as others call them “p—ies” and the initial sucker-punching thug pours a drink over one of the Marines, according to the Post.
San Clemente Mayor Chris Duncan said, fortunately, no one was seriously injured. Nevertheless, the behavior is “absolutely unacceptable.”
A sign left near the pier read “SC supports our Marines.”
Thus far, no arrests have been made. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department at 714-647-7000.