9 youths charged, accused of attacking Marines on Memorial Day weekend, caught on video
SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (Gray News) - Officials in California say they have apprehended minors who they described as the main suspects connected to an attack on Marines over the weekend, KCAL reported.
The assault happened shortly before 10 p.m. Friday in the city of San Clemente near Camp Pendleton, a Marine Corps base.
Video circulating online showed a melee with victims on the ground being kicked until a woman and a man broke it up.
Three Marines had asked a large group of youngsters to stop shooting off fireworks. One of the Marines said they were “stomped on” and beaten up by the group.
GRAPHIC WARNING: Contents of video may be disturbing.
“We have nine individuals charged with crimes related to the attack on the Marines,” San Clemente Mayor Chris Duncan said. “All nine are juveniles. All nine are San Clemente residents, as I understand it.”
Authorities said four boys and one girl were charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon, were taken into custody and are presently at juvenile hall.
The other four were charged with misdemeanor assault and battery. Their ages were not specified.
“They, as I understand it, typically don’t take juveniles into custody for misdemeanors,” Duncan said. “So they’ll go through the process out of custody.”
The disturbing video shows two of the Marines taking cover on the ground as they’re being repeatedly kicked in the head and upper body.
Investigators used that video of the attack to track down the teenagers allegedly involved.
“My face still had blood all over it. It wasn’t cool at all,” Lance Corporal Hunter Antonino said.
One of the Marines said he and two buddies were enjoying time off from Camp Pendleton at one of their favorite spots near the San Clemente pier when 30 to 40 kids showed up on the beach.
A resident who said he called deputies multiple times about the unruly crowd took video of the group.
According to the injured Marine, the group lit off fireworks, and when debris hit him in the face, he politely asked them to leave.
“They were lighting off fireworks,” Antonino said. “They were being belligerent. They were being obnoxious and annoying other people, so we went up to them and told them to stop.”
And that’s when he says the crowd followed them over to the pier and things turned violent.
The lance corporal thinks he may have a concussion from being beat up and stomped on.
“I made a comment during my speech here at the community center. I said this is San Clemente ... Marines are always welcome here, always going to be celebrated, always taken care of and that why this is so particularly tragic,” Duncan said.
“We told them that we were Marines so they would leave. But they didn’t. They just kept going at it,” Antonino said.
No one had major injuries because of the altercation.
Officials said the investigation is still ongoing.
Copyright 2023 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. KCAL/KCBS via CNN Newsource and The Associated Press contributed to this report.