A group of minors was apprehended following a severe attack on three off-duty U.S. Marines at the San Clemente Pier in Southern California over the Memorial Day weekend. The incident, which involved a crowd of dozens of young people, led to the arrest of five minors on felony assault charges. The incident is currently under investigation by local authorities.
Mayor Chris Duncan of San Clemente confirmed that four additional minors will be held accountable for their roles in the violent altercation, though they will not be detained. Specifics regarding the charges they face have not yet been disclosed. The arrested individuals, comprising four boys and one girl, could be charged with felony assault with a deadly non-firearm weapon and are currently held at the Orange County Juvenile Hall.
Eyewitnesses recorded the assault, revealing the minors among a crowd at the scene. Due to their minor status, the identities of the suspects have been withheld by the authorities.
Duncan, who previously served as a federal prosecutor, vehemently condemned the assault. He reassured the San Clemente community, particularly the military and veteran members, of the city’s commitment to dealing with such incidents with the utmost severity. He underscored the tragedy of the event, particularly given its occurrence over Memorial Day weekend, a time of respect and remembrance for those who have served in the U.S. military.
According to the reports, deputies arrived at the pier around 9:50 p.m. following reports of minors assaulting U.S. Marines. Two injured Marines were found at the scene. Footage obtained by local media outlet KTLA showed one of the Marines being punched from behind as he was departing from the group. When he turned to confront the attacker, a large crowd encircled them, leading to a brawl. At one stage, two of the Marines were seen on the ground in a protective posture while they were repeatedly kicked by numerous minors.
While the cause of the fight remains unclear, one of the assaulted Marines, Hunter Antonino, reported to KCAL News that the incident began after he requested a member of the group to stop igniting fireworks at the beach. Antonino, along with his fellow Marines, were reportedly “stomped on” and “beat up” by the group.
The Orange County Fire Authority provided medical assistance to the injured Marines at the scene, but they refused hospital transportation. As the investigation progressed, it was revealed that a third Marine had also been assaulted during the incident, though the severity of his injuries is currently unknown.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office was unreachable for immediate comment on Wednesday morning. They highlighted the ongoing nature of the investigation, attributing it to the incident’s complexity and the large number of participants involved. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has urged anyone with information about the attack to come forward.
According to the Pacific Research Institute, California is currently facing a crisis in its juvenile justice system, as the state will close all its juvenile prisons in June. This has led to juvenile offenders being transferred to county jails, which are ill-equipped to provide the necessary rehabilitative resources for these young offenders. This change not only poses challenges for the management of these facilities, but also raises concerns about the welfare of these young individuals.
San Clemente is a city nestled on California’s coast. It offers an enchanting blend of scenic mountain, hill, and ocean views. Its temperate climate further accentuates the city’s allure, drawing both residents and visitors alike. But beyond its natural beauty, San Clemente shares a profound connection with the military due to its proximity to the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
Camp Pendleton, a key Marine Corps base, is a stone’s throw from San Clemente. This geographical closeness has woven a strong military thread into the city’s social tapestry. The residents of San Clemente hold deep respect and appreciation for the military, forging a bond between the city and the base that is often reflected in community events and local culture.
The attack took place over the Memorial Day weekend, a time of solemn remembrance in the United States. Celebrated on the last Monday of May, this federal holiday honors and mourns military personnel who have lost their lives in the line of duty. It is a day marked by various ceremonies and events aimed at paying respect to these brave individuals.
Amidst the turmoil, the city has united in support of the victims, echoing its long-standing values of respect and unity that characterize this coastal community.
From The Epoch Times