A horrifying video has emerged that captures the moment a group of 40 teenagers brutally beats three off-duty Marines after they confronted them about their unruly behavior on a California beach. The victims said they were simply walking along the beach in San Clemente, California when they were viciously attacked by the mob.
The Marines claim that they had confronted the unruly teens and asked them to stop lighting fireworks on the beach, which resulted in the horrifying assault. The terrifying incident happened around 10 pm on Friday night, the start of the Memorial Day weekend. The Orange County Sheriff's Department is now investigating the incident.
Almost Deadly Attack
The now-viral video shows the trio of Marines, who are on vacation for Memorial Day, being followed by the yelling mob as they go near San Clemente Pier Bowl late on Friday.
"We told them we were Marines so they would leave — but they didn't. They just kept going at it," one of the attacked servicemen, Hunter Antonino, told KCAL News.
As they begin to climb some steps, some in the group behind them yell for them to "get the f-k outta here" before one runs up from behind and sucker-punches the lagging serviceman.
The Marine hesitates for a moment, then drops what he is holding and charges at his assailant, knocking him to the ground.
The video next shows the two victims curled up in the fetal position as the mob continued to kick them and hurl profanities and racial slurs at them. The third Marine was also attacked although he is not seen in the video.
The fight stopped only after two bystanders, an unidentified man and woman, intervened and yelled at the teens, "Stop, what are you doing?"
It is still unclear what happened before the video although Hunter Antonio, one of the self-described Marines, told KCAL that the fight started after he urged the teenagers to stop lighting fireworks.
No Respect for Marines
Antonio claimed he and his Marine friend were enjoying some much-needed downtime when the fireworks started to go off in the crowd during the Memorial Day weekend in Oceanside, Camp Pendleton.
Antonio said that he requested them to leave respectfully after a piece of debris struck him in the face.
"They were lighting off fireworks, they were being belligerent and obnoxious and annoying other people, so I went up to them and told them to stop," he recounted.
However, they continued to pursue him down to the pier, where Antonio claimed he and his companion gave the teens a heads-up that they were Marines in hopes that they would flee, but they didn't.
Initial estimates from the Orange County Sheriff's Department placed the number of assailants at 10 to 30, although footage from a distance suggested many more, with at least 40 people crowding the Marines on the beach.
The department vowed to continue its investigation "until all individuals responsible are identified and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
The sheriff's department said that all of the victims declined medical attention despite the attack's apparent brutality, verifying that the other males were Marines.
Antonino, though, told KCAL that he worries he may have experienced a concussion as a result of being "stomped on."
"My face still has, like, blood all over it," he said. "It wasn't cool at all."
No arrests have yet been made in connection with the violent attack, as Orange County Sheriff's investigators continue their investigation
Sheriff Sgt. Frank Gonzalez suggested that the suspects might face charges of assault with a dangerous weapon due of the sheer number of potential suspects under investigation.
"This is considered an assault with a deadly weapon because of the number of suspects," Sgt. Frank Gonzalez also told KCAL News.
"The weapons that were used were their feet while these victims were on the ground," he explained.
"So regardless if the victims choose prosecution or choose medical attention, the sheriff's department is going to investigate this to the fullest and try to determine who the suspects are."