Authorities say they have arrested multiple teenagers in connection with the assault of the three U.S. Marines in San Clemente, California, an incident that sparked outrage after footage of the attack went viral.
The incident happened late Friday night along the San Clemente Pier. When deputies arrived at the scene, deputies said they found two U.S. Marines, both men, that had been injured from an apparent assault. They both received aid but declined to be taken to the hospital, police said, adding that they also found a third U.S. Marine who had been assaulted.
On late Tuesday, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said they arrested four juvenile boys and a juvenile girl who are “believed to be involved.” All five were taken to the Orange County Juvenile Hall for assault with a non-firearm deadly weapon.
“Due to the suspects being juveniles, no further information will be released regarding them at this time,” police said. “Also, due to the nature of the incident and the large number of individuals involved, the investigation is ongoing.”
San Clemente Mayor Chris Duncan, however, said that nine juveniles have been charged in connection to the beating, according to. The four not mentioned by police were charged with misdemeanor assault and battery, he said.
“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.”
Footage of the pre-Memorial Day incident has gone viral after video showed the Marines, who were not in uniform, being surrounded by what appears to be a large group of teenagers. At one point, one of the Marines, seen in a black baseball cap and white shirt, is seen charging and shoving one of the teenagers, at which point others in the group started to punch him. Another Marine in the video, seen wearing a black tank top and shorts, was seen in the fetal position on the ground as he was being kicked.
The Marines have said that they were walking on the pier when they came across the teens and told them to stop setting off fireworks, CBS Los Angeles reported.
“I didn’t know what was going on. I was just trying to go back to the car and then I had turned around…to help them out. And then we’re just all in this circle being stomped on, beat up,” one of the Marines, Hunter Antonino, said.
The investigation into the case is ongoing.