“At least five youths have been apprehended in connection with the horrific assault on two Marines during a chaotic altercation near the iconic San Clemente Pier,” announced the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The four boys and one girl have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon (non-firearm) and have been detained in a juvenile facility. Due to their status as minors, their identities are being withheld, but the investigation is ongoing.
The distressing melee erupted around 9:15 p.m. on Friday near the pier, at the end of Avenida del Mar, according to Mike Woodroof, spokesperson for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The incident left both Marines with minor injuries to their hands, knees, abdomens, and heads. Although medical attention was offered, the victims refused to be taken to a hospital. Subsequently, a third Marine was identified as a victim as well, increasing the gravity of the situation.
The exact number of assailants involved in the attack remains unclear, but Woodroof estimated it to be somewhere between 10 and 30 individuals. A video, approximately one minute long, has been circulating online, capturing the brutal brawl. The footage portrays the Marines desperately trying to shield themselves from the relentless punches and kicks delivered by their attackers.
Eyewitness Daniel Larson, who observed the distressing incident, recounted, “I saw people falling on the ground and someone got tackled. Someone got kicked and punched to the ground.” The disturbing footage serves as evidence of the shocking level of violence exhibited during the altercation.
According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the brawl originated from fireworks being set off on the beach. When the Marines requested that the individuals cease their activities, they were viciously assaulted as they attempted to leave the area. The group subsequently encircled the defenseless Marines, subjecting them to further physical aggression.
The brawl seemingly reached its conclusion when two individuals, a man and a woman, intervened, urging the group to cease their assault. Patricia Hurtavo, the woman who stepped in, expressed her concern for the lives of the Marines, stating, “I didn’t think of the consequences, obviously.” She believed that the crowd may have fatally harmed the Marines if she had not intervened.
The investigation into the incident remains ongoing, with the attackers potentially facing charges such as assault with a deadly weapon and/or assault and battery. San Clemente Mayor Chris Duncan strongly condemned the appalling behavior, emphasizing that it is entirely unacceptable within the community. The city is fully cooperating with law enforcement to support the investigation and ensure that justice is served.
Authorities are urging anyone with information regarding the incident to contact the San Clemente Police at 949-770-6011. The community is coming together in solidarity, standing against such acts of violence and supporting the Marines who were brutally attacked. The shocking nature of this incident serves as a stark reminder of the need for unity and the continued efforts to maintain safety and security within the community.