US Open of Surfing: ‘Riots’ Hit Huntington Beach in S. California

July 29, 2013 12:00 am Last Updated: July 18, 2015 5:19 pm

There were unruly throngs of people following US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach in Southern California on Sunday, according to police.

The Los Angeles Times reported that riot police converged on the city to break up the riots. Police and witnesses said that fights broke out around 7 p.m.

A witness said he saw people tip over portable toilets, while many refused to listen to police. He said he later smelled tear gas, according to the Times.

On its Facebook page, the Huntington Beach Police Department wrote that on Sunday, “officers encountered a large crowd at Main and Pacific Coast Highway. The crowd had gathered at the conclusion of the Van’s US Open of Surfing, an 8 day surf and skate event.  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.”

The department further added: “The police now have control of the downtown area and the disturbance quelled.”

It said it is unclear how many arrests were made or how much damage was done.

According to accounts on Twitter and Instagram, people tried to tip over a truck filled with cones.

“Flipoing a car over fuhhhhh,” wrote Instagram user “lui_nikkaaaa,” who posted a video of what appeared to be young people trying to flip the vehicle over. “Is this even over!? People are so stupid,” wrote one Instagram user in response.

A Twitter user wrote that some of the rioters attempted to light a fire in the road.

“Huntington Beach: People took a bunch of paper and lit a fire and crowded around it. It didn’t last long, and then a fight broke out,” wrote user Victoria.

Another photo on Twitter shows a line of police near the rioters. The user wrote there were “issues down on Main St. in Huntington Beach,” before asking local TV stations to report about it.

In the US Open of Surfing, Alejo Muniz became the first Brazilian national to win the competition.

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