3 Marines attacked by 30 teens, young adults in San Clemente over Memorial Day weekend

Tribune Content Agency

LOS ANGELES — Three off-duty Marines were kicked and punched by a group of 30 teenagers and young adults near the San Clemente Pier over the Memorial Day weekend, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

An altercation broke out between the Marines and teens and young adults at 9:50 p.m. Friday, the Sheriff’s Department said. Authorities did not say what caused the fight, but one of the Marines told KCBS-TV that it started after he asked the other group to stop lighting fireworks at the beach because firework debris had hit him in the face.

Video footage obtained by KTLA-TV shows three Marines walking away from the group of young people. The video then shows someone sucker-punching a Marine from behind before the Marine charges at the group. A melee ensues, and at least two Marines are shown on the ground, curled up in the fetal position, with people in the crowd striking them in the head and upper body before two adults intervene and stop the beatings.

“The barbaric assault on off-duty Marines at the San Clemente Pier goes against everything we stand for in San Clemente, and it’s no excuse that teenagers were involved,” San Clemente Mayor Chris Duncan said. “I want to assure our community, especially our military and veteran community, that we take this matter with the utmost seriousness and will not tolerate this kind of behavior in our city.”

“The fact that this incident occurred over Memorial Day weekend is particularly tragic,” Duncan added.

The Orange County Fire Authority treated the Marines at the scene, but they all refused to be transported to a hospital, according to the Sheriff’s Department. The Marines had minor to moderate injuries, said Sgt. Mike Woodruff, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department.

The Sheriff’s Department said it’s investigating the incident, but it hasn’t identified any suspects. Anyone with information about the incident can contact the Sheriff’s Department at (949) 770-6011.