Some Californians are giving new meaning to the phrase “surfing the web”.
Large-scale rioting in the wake of the George Zimmerman trial verdict failed to materialize as predicted; however, after hosting a national surfing competition this weekend, a California beach town was the site of a small-scale one this weekend.
And it appears social media will be used to follow-up on crime-scene analysis.
Rioting broke out near the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Main Street on Sunday evening, but was quelled within a few hours.
The unrest occurred while officers were attempting to disperse crowds following the close of the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing around 5:00 p.m.
The Huntington Beach Police Department requested help from other law-enforcement agencies to help clear the streets, Lt. Mitchell O’Brien said.
The area was declared an unlawful assembly and police moved in to make arrests, according to a Huntington Beach Police Department press release.
There was damage to property, including several portable toilets that were pushed over, witness Francisco Gomez told KTLA.
It looks like the fracas began after someone was hit with a ketchup bottle from a second-story restaurant. The bottle was then thrown into into the crowd, triggering a fight that expanded into a small-scale riot.
Los Angeles Times reporters compiled articles on the riot from social media sources, including the following video:
Reports also note that pepper-spray was used on the crowd:
Some in the crowd coughed and wiped their eyes from the gas police fired to disperse the crowd. Some covered their mouths and noses with shirts.
Photo and videos from the scene show people tearing down city signs, one person dragging a stop sign into the middle of the street and throwing it down in front of police and another man throwing over a barricade.
The local ABC affiliate reports that eight arrests were made for disturbing the peace, unlawful assembly and inciting a riot. One person was held for assault with a deadly weapon on an officer. And, thanks to social media, more arrests may occur:
Police said they will look at video posted on social media and more arrests could be made. Anyone with information was asked to call Huntington Beach police at (714) 375-5066.
Truly, there is never a dull moment in my home state. And some Californians are about to discover that being featured on the internet may bring them the wrong type of notoriety.