Five minors have been arrested following a mob beating of three off-duty Marines along a pier in Southern California over the weekend, authorities said.
Four male juveniles and one female were taken into custody Tuesday on suspicion of felony assault with a deadly weapon, and they were booked into a juvenile hall, according to a statement from the Orange County sheriff’s department.
The arrests came after the three male Marines were pummeled along a pier in San Clemente at around 10 p.m. Friday night.
Video taken at San Clemente Pier appears to show one of the Marines walking away from a large group of people when he “gets assaulted from behind,” department spokesperson Sgt. Mike Woodruff told HuffPost, adding that the man then “turns around and pursues the suspect” in the crowd.
After the Marine charges into the throng of people, a brawl quickly breaks out, the footage shows. The mob is seen punching and stomping on two men as they lay on the ground while protectively covering their heads. An older man and woman then run in and help break up the fight.
Hunter Antonino told KCAL News in Los Angeles that he and the two other Marines had been enjoying time away from nearby Camp Pendleton when 30 to 40 minors showed up at the beach and became disruptive.
“They were lighting off fireworks. They were being belligerent,” he told the local outlet. “So we went up to them and told them to stop,” causing the crowd to follow the Marines to the pier where the attack occurred, he added.
While five people had been taken into custody so far, media reports about additional arrests were incorrect as of Wednesday morning local time, according to Woodruff. He added, though, that an “undetermined number” of other suspects were being pursued as the investigation continues.
“This is considered an assault with a deadly weapon because of the amount of suspects we are investigating,” Sgt. Frank Gonzalez of the Orange County sheriff’s department told KCAL News. “The weapons that were used were their feet while these victims were on the ground.”