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Riots Erupt at the US Open of Surfing

Following the Finals of the Vans US Open of Surfing won by surfers Carissa Moore and Alejo Muniz, riots erupted resulting in looting, clashes with police, Porta Potties being toppled over  resulting in waste spilling out,  fights and unruly behavior on the streets of Huntington Beach, California.  With police officers on the scene in riot gear, seven to eight arrests were made including an Orange County firefighter and other local and outside revelers, and police resorted to firing pepper balls and nonlethal projectiles to ease the crowd.

Among the chaos around Main Street in Huntington Beach were a group of individuals attempting to break into Easyrider bike shop by ramming a street stop sign and the post into the store’s front window.  Employees and friends of the shop stayed to defend the business and after the window was broken into they went to the forefront and defended the store, resulting in one bike being stolen.

“The employees stayed in the shop, keeping the doors locked and the lights off, but then armed themselves with wrenches and bike seat posts when they saw people outside pull down a stop sign,” said Ryan Hartzog, store manager of Easyrider bike shop.  “It was a little intense. Who knows what could have happened?”

“We were all huddled inside the building and we had the lights off because all the people were up here mobbing around, and I was inside and I saw them tearing down the stop sign,” said Burt Etheredge, an employee of the shop. “As soon as that stop sign came down, I knew that stop sign was coming through the window. And sure enough, two seconds later, it did.”

The rioting seemed to have started around 8 PM PT when a fight broke out among the revelers of the Vans US Open of Surfing.  Police forced the throngs of people away from the beach and the masses turned towards the business around Main Street.  The Huntington Beach Police Department said that more arrests may occur and the suspect responsible for using a stop sign to smash a store window remains at large while there remains on going an investigation.

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