Riots in Huntington Beach, Calif., Sunday evening broke out after the U.S. Open of Surfing. Fights broke out and attendees engaged in vandalism recalling the 1986 Huntington Beach riot.
On its Facebook page, the Huntington Beach Police Department (HBPD) wrote: “A large fight broke out and when officers attempted to break up the disturbance the crowd moved into the downtown area. The crowds began fighting, damaging property and refused to disburse.”
As of Monday morning, the HBPD had not given an account of the number of arrests or whether anyone was injured. Youth pushed over portable toilets, yelling and cheering. KCAL9 News reported that a police barricade was thrown through a skate shop window and looting occurred. Some YouTube videos show what looks like tear gas; witnesses also reported tear gas and rubber bullets were used. According to accounts on Twitter and Instagram, people tried to flip at least one vehicle.
During a surf contest at the beach in 1986, at least 12 were injured, including five officers, according to a Los Angeles Times article from that time.
That riot was sparked when police officers tried to intervene as two young women were being harassed by a small group of men attending the event. People threw objects including rocks and bottles at police and burned cars. Attendees charged that police indiscriminately clubbed people in the crowd, though other eye witnesses told the Times that police acted with restraint.
Following Sunday’s riot, local residents praised the police for their prompt reaction and expressed outrage at the tourists who had come for the event.
Erin Custer wrote on the HBPD Facebook page: “City Council listen up! We have HAD IT with these ‘tourists’ trashing the city for those of us that live here year round and PAY to live here.”
Lesa Smith O’Shea wrote that “the city drew these [people] … here trying to make a buck!”
Videos of Sunday’s Riot
People push over portable toilets, while one young man picks up a police barricade:
A line of security closes in on an increasingly rowdy crowd:
A fight breaks out, one of many reported Sunday night:
Video of the 1986 Riot
Note that this video compilation put together by a YouTube user is accompanied by music. Volume control is suggested: