A teenager who was arrested as part of a mob attack on three Marines on a California beach is being charged as an adult, the teen’s family told the New York Post.
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The 16-year-old boy was one of five teenagers arrested for a group attack on two Marines over Memorial Day weekend. It is believed there were at least 40 teenagers involved in the beating, much of which was captured on video.
The footage revealed the Marines attempting to fight back but being overtaken by a large group that repeatedly kicked the Marines when they were down.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office has since arrested four boys and one girl for assault with a deadly weapon. A sibling of one of the suspects confirmed to the Post that the teen involved with the attack will be charged as an adult.
The sibling claimed his brother had nothing to do with the attack and was injured as part of the chaos.
“I just feel it’s so unfair to go after someone who would never hurt anyone and was just at the wrong place at the wrong time,” the family member told the Post. “My [sibling] is a really good person, a great student, and has never been in trouble before.”
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer released a statement about the case, but did not get too specific.
“Violence of any kind will not be tolerated by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and acts of violence committed by anyone regardless of age will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Spitzer said.
The Marines had the weekend off for the Memorial Day weekend and were spending it at San Clemente Pier Bowl. Family members of some of the alleged attackers have said the Marines were drunk and roughhousing with the teens before it turned into an all-out brawl.
Still, the video revealed the Marines walking away before one of them was pushed from behind. The group kicked and stomped two of them when they were on the ground. A third Marine that was with the other two was not seen in the video.
This is considered an assault with a deadly weapon because of the number of suspects we are investigating,” Sgt. Frank Gonzalez of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department told KCAL News.
“The weapons that were used were their feet while these victims were on the ground.”
The Marines said the commotion started when they asked the teens to stop shooting off fireworks that seemed to be causing a disturbance among other beachgoers and nearby residents.
San Clemente Mayor Chris Duncan added that the attack on servicemen on Memorial Day weekend was “particularly tragic.”
“Marines are always welcome here, always going to be celebrated, always taken care of,” he told KCAL.
The violence didn’t stop until an older man and woman intervened to break it up.