Authorities announced on Tuesday that nine teenagers were arrested in connection with the brutal attack caught on camera, where three Marines were beaten on a California beach over the weekend.
Among the arrested individuals, four males and one female have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and have been taken into juvenile hall, stated the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Additionally, four other minors have allegedly been charged with misdemeanor assault and battery, as reported by CBS News.
San Clemente Mayor Chris Duncan said deputies have apprehended the main suspects among a group of up to 40 others that ruthlessly attacked the three servicemen who were enjoying their Memorial Day weekend near the Pier Bowl.
“They think they have the people they are looking for,” Duncan said. “Not to say that there might not be a few others out there. They feel pretty confident that they have the main perpetrators.”
Investigators used video footage of the attack to track down the brutes, according to the mayor.
“In today’s age, you’re going to get caught — people are going to record it,” said Duncan. “I hope this serves as a learning lesson for young folks in the community not to let themselves get out of control when something like this happens.”
The teenagers set their sights on the Marines after they asked the group to stop lighting fireworks — a piece of debris had hit one of them in the face, they claimed.
“We told them we were Marines so they would leave — but they didn’t. They just kept going at it,” one of the servicemen, Hunter Antonino, said.
Subsequently, the young individuals pursued the men, subjecting them to verbal abuse and ultimately overpowering them. The trio was coerced into assuming a defensive position on the ground, curling up in a fetal position while shielding their heads and arms, while the mob relentlessly kicked, punched, and stomped on them.
The distressing video, lasting nearly a minute, captures the assault finally ceasing when a man and woman intervene, shouting at the assailants to halt their actions.
The sheriff’s department promised to “investigate this to the fullest” even if the servicemen opted not to press charges