Nine juvenile suspects were arrested and charged Tuesday in connection with a fight recorded on video showing three Marines being beaten by a crowd at the San Clemente Pier.
All suspects were only identified as under 18 years old, according to San Clemente Mayor Chris Duncan. Their identities are being withheld due to their juvenile status.
Five suspects were charged with assault with a deadly weapon and are in custody at juvenile hall. The four others were charged with misdemeanor assault and battery but are not in custody.
The video was taken on May 26 and shows several Marines from Camp Pendleton 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 Marines.
The Marine then turns and charges into the crowd where he is punched several times.
Later, the video shows two Marines curled up in the fetal position as they are punched and kicked by several crowd members.
Some adults eventually broke up the fight.
It is unclear what occurred between the two groups before the video started recording. In an interview Tuesday morning, Orange County Sheriff’s Sargeant Mike Woodruff said fireworks might have been 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.”
Mayor Duncan said no one was seriously hurt but that the behavior is “absolutely unacceptable.” The City Council has voted to hire four more deputies to patrol the beach areas.
A sign left near the pier read “SC supports our Marines.”
The suspects are residents of San Clemente, according to Mayor Duncan. The case remains under investigation by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s Department at 714-647-7000.