At least one store in downtown Huntington Beach was vandalized and looted after the end of the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach on Sunday, according to Lt. Mitch O’Brien.
The mob erupted among a crowd of thousands gathered for the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing, which includes surfing, skateboarding and BMX biking events, possibly after a fistfight in downtown Huntington Beach.
People in the mob strapped bandanas across their faces and threw rocks and bottles at police officers. Police donned riot gear and fired back with pepper balls.
The violent crowd raged through the streets after the surfing competition, clashing with police, toppling portable toilets, fighting in the streets and apparently wrecking and looting at least one business, according to police and witnesses. A video posted to Facebook showed a mob throwing a stop sign through the “Easyrider” store window and stealing merchandise, including a bicycle. Burt Etherege, of “Easyrider” , said one person made off with a bicycle before others in the crowd stepped in and defended the store
Police made eight arrests on suspicion of failure to disperse, according to a Huntington Beach Police Department statement.
By about 9 p.m., the crowd seemed to have dispersed and the streets were mostly cleared, except for a heavy police presence.