The Huntington Beach Police held a press conference at Pier Plaza on Monday following the horrific riot on Main St. that followed the US Open of Surfing final. Seven names were released of those that were retained at the city jail Sunday evening.
Police responded immediately to the large crowd at PCH and Main Street, nearly three blocks south of the bike store. The outrageous crowd moved to the downtown area after police tried to stop a fight down at the beach. Police Lieutenant Mitch O’brien said police had the area under control by 9 p.m.
Authorities in the press conference Monday also said that no severe injuries were reported, yet several officers suffered minor injuries and at least one civilian was treated at the nearest hospital after being struck with a rubber projectile a law enforcement agent fired.
The following seven arrested include:
- Michael John Lytle, 30, of Anaheim, was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
- Andres Gomez, 24, of Huntington Beach, was arrested on suspicion of refusing to disperse and resisting arrest
- Michael Anthony Avila, 28, of Santa Ana, was arrested on suspicion of resisting or delaying a police officer.
- Joseph Monterrosa, 28, of Ontario, was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
- Adam A. Cecot, 18, of Irvine, was arrested on suspicion of refusing to disperse/unlawful assembly.
- Chase Scott Christman, 19, of Simi Valley, was arrested on suspicion of vandalism over $400, urging destruction of property and refusing to disperse/unlawful assembly.
- Kyle Roger Crott, 18, of Riverside, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer and resisting arrest.
Huntington Beach officials praised public safety officers for handling the Sunday riot quick and orderly, but were disappointed on the note the US Open of Surf ended on.
“This council prioritizes the safety and comfort of our residents above all else,” the Boardman at the press conference said. “Our city’s public safety officials demonstrated that unwavering commitment yesterday, acting quickly and responsibly to minimize the impact of the incident.”
Boardman, Huntington Beach police Chief Ken Small, and IMG senior vice president James Leitz told the public that they will be working together to improve the event to avoid possible outbreaks from happening again.
“Our downtown task force, including residents, business owners and the City Council, will be formed within the next two weeks and I am confident that a task force will develop recommendations to make this event safer next year,” Boardman said.
The Boardman is holding a special meeting today at 5 p.m. at City Hall to let residents voice their opinions and concerns about the issue. Chief Small said around 100 Huntington Beach officers were at the scene, alongside about 150 officers from outside agencies. He added that using the mutual aid is of no cost to the city.
The chief said he was impressed with how officers handled the incident, commending them for the small amount of injuries and damage done to downtown businesses.
“There was limited and measured use of force by law enforcement officers, including the use of pepper balls and non-lethal projectiles,” Small said.
“The law enforcement officers, in my view, used a great deal of restraint when facing a barrage of bottles, bricks, rocks and other devices being thrown at them from a crowd of people who repeatedly failed to disperse after being ordered to do so.”
Leitz has put on the US Open for the past 14 years and said this year’s competition was the best one to date, but said Sunday night was spoiled by what he called “a few rotten apples.”
“We’ve had large groups before any day of this week and every year on the hour, it comes down to a few people,” he said. “They play a game of cat and mouse. They’ll start something here then go there. And that’s exactly what happened.”
He estimated over 100,000 people at the beach Sunday. Leitz said he wants to see the US Open continue in Huntington Beach and will continue to work with the city and sponsors to work out the kinks.
“We’ll reach back to the roots of the event and amplify the sport again and look very closely at how we schedule things,” he said. “We didn’t change our plan at all and the beach ran perfectly. But a couple knuckleheads can do a lot of damage.”
The police are looking at videos and pictures from residents and social media to identify any additional suspects involved in the criminal activity that occurred Sunday night.
The bike shop Easyride, 528 Main St., was terrorized and broken into involving a $500 bike stolen. Employee Bert Etheredge prevented a nearly $5,000 custom bike from being stolen as well. Prior reports have said eight people were arrested, but police were not immediately accessible to explain who the eighth person was.
Anyone with information is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the police hotline at (714) 375-5066.