Nine minors in California have been arrested for violently beating a trio of Marines over Memorial Day weekend, disturbing video of which has since made the rounds online.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday charged five juvenile suspects with assault with a deadly weapon and another four were hit with counts of misdemeanor assault and battery, San Clemente Mayor Chris Duncan announced. He told CBS News the latter group of suspects were not detained because authorities “don’t take juveniles into custody for misdemeanors.”
“They will go through the process out of custody” while the others were taken to a juvenile detention hall, according to the mayor.
The violence unfolded on Friday around 9:50 p.m. The trio of Marines said they were walking near the pier in San Clemente when they spotted the group of rowdy teens and requested that they stop shooting off fireworks.
Witnesses said they saw dozens of people gathering on the T-Street Beach in the same area around that time.
Video of the subsequent melee shows two of the victims on the ground — trying to cover their faces and protect themselves — while they endure punches and kicks from the crowd of young people. Hunter Antonino, one of the self-identified Marines who was attacked, said they were “stomped on” and beaten up by the mob.
A pair of bystanders eventually intervened. One of them forced herself between a Marine and the attackers, at one point yelling at them to stop.
Investigators said they were able to track down the suspects because of the violent clips, which have been viewed thousands of times online. With help from local school district officials, Orange County deputies cross-referenced images from the video with school records to identify the teens.
“They think they have the people they are looking for,” said Duncan. “Not to say that there might not be a few others out there. They feel pretty confident that they have the main perpetrators.”
Anyone with information in the case can call the department at (949) 425-1956. An investigations in ongoing.
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