Police in Southern California arrested more than 100 people after over 2,500 revelers lighting fires and shooting fireworks descended on Huntington Beach outside of Los Angeles on Saturday night for a party promoted on TikTok. According to police, the party advertised as 'Adrian's Kickback' turned "wild" and "unruly" after teens started hurling fireworks, bottles, and rocks at officers when they reached the venue.
Law enforcement officials later declared the party as an unlawful assembly and arrested 149 people after they refused orders to disperse. Authorities also imposed an emergency curfew from 11:30 pm for all individuals within the area of Beach Boulevard to Goldenwest and Pacific Coast Highway to Yorktown in Huntington Beach.
Party or Chaos?
Adrian's Kickback, the impromptu birthday party organized via TikTok and other online sites that went massively viral, deteriorated into a small-scale riot on Saturday night. The party was initially thought to be small one but turned into more a huge gathering as the event was publicized on a platform that has millions of users.
The massive gathering began with a now-deleted video posted on TikTok by a user named 'adrian.lopez517', who invited anyone to his birthday party by Huntington Beach's fire pits Saturday night, the Orange County Register reported on Sunday.
The promotion soon got viral. The hashtag 'AdriansKickBack' received more than 234 million views on TikTok.
One partygoer told New York Times: "It's the first lit party since COVID." At least 400 people showed up as early as Friday evening around a lifeguard tower, police Lt. Brian Smith said.
However, the gathering turned out to be unruly on Saturday when more than 2,500 revelers joined the party.
Wilder Than Expected
Following Friday's gathering, Huntington Beach's police department posted on Twitter the next day that they were preparing for a surge of visitors due to the promoted party and warned that they will enforce local rules, including no alcohol or drug use on the beach and no fireworks.
However, that didn't stop people from coming to the party. "The initial crowd at the beach grew in size and moved to the downtown area where it was estimated to be over 2,500," the Huntington Beach Police Department said in a statement.
According to the Orange County Register, the Huntington Beach Police Department declared an "unlawful assembly" at 7:13 pm after partygoers began to shoot illegal firework and scale one of the beach's lifeguard towers. They reached the scene in riot gears and used less-than-lethal weapons to disperse the crowd.
"As the crowd size continued to grow rapidly, large groups disbursed into various locations throughout the area, throwing bottles, rocks, fireworks, and other items at officers. At that time, the HBPD requested assistance from outside agencies," police said.
Video footage from the scene shows officers dressed in riot helmets shutting streets to control the crowd and, in some instances, firing less-lethal rounds.
The 150 arrests included 121 adults and 28 minors, the outlet reported. They face charges including vandalism, illegal fireworks, failure to disperse and curfew violations. Multiple businesses and police vehicle were damaged, but the police reported no significant injuries.