They “used a great deal of restraint when facing a barrage of bottles, bricks, rocks” and other objects, he said.
The U.S. Open of Surfing draws thousands of people every year to Huntington Beach. The event that ended Sunday included surfing, skateboarding and live music.
“We’re extremely disappointed and saddened by the disturbance,” said a statement on the U.S. Open of Surfing website. “We work tirelessly with city staff, police, fire and other agencies to ensure a safe environment for all.”
Shopkeepers say downtown — known for its scenic beaches and crashing surf — is often the scene of drunken bar brawls and rowdy behavior — but not rioting. Locals say some of the worst offenses come during the U.S. Open of Surfing when young partiers descend on the strip and leave a mess
“The people who come here aren’t here to shop. They’re just here to cause trouble,” said Michelle Hogan, manager of Island Cowgirl jewelry shop, which escaped the ruckus unscathed. “There’s the drunkenness and the craziness but something like a riot is unheard of.”
Police said one of the arrestees was from Huntington Beach. The other six were from other Southern California cities.
On Monday, there was little sign of the disturbance except for a boarded-up window at Easyrider and a handful of television news trucks parked on the main strip. Beachgoers wearing flip-flops cruised by on colorful bicycles as tourists shopped for trinkets and stopped for lunch on a typically sunny summer day.
Tracey Boyle, 45, said she wasn’t fazed by the melee in the tourist town where she and her three children from Northern California had come to spend their vacation.
“It’s just something that got out of hand,” Boyle said. “You can’t imagine what it would be at a surf event — they seem too chill to get in that kind of confrontation, but they clearly did.”