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Contractors' equipment vandalized during demolition of surfers' stone 'fort' at Lunada Bay

Trucks and equipment used to demolish a stone shelter built by territorial surfers on Lunada Bay in Palos Verdes Estates have been severely vandalized at the work site, authorities said Thursday.

According to police, vandals Tuesday night scratched the paint of several trucks in a staging area, slashed fabric containers used to carry debris and set fire to equipment stored at the structure, including an air compressor used to power jackhammers.

The trucks and equipment were being used by Ampco Contracting Inc., a demolition company that received a $61,000 contract from Palos Verdes Estates to raze the shelter located on Rocky Point adjacent to one of the best big wave spots in California.

City officials have condemned the incident, and police are investigating. No arrests have been made so far, authorities said.

Ampco crews began dismantling the rock and wood structure Tuesday morning. The shelter consists of stone retaining walls and a patio with a stone table, fire pit, rock bench and wood canopy. An adjacent seating area contains a stone bench covered by a wood frame with palm fronds.

Witnesses’ accounts filed in pending lawsuits accuse a local group of surfers, which includes middle-aged men — though they are often called the Bay Boys — of congregating at the structure, often referred to as a fort, for years and bombarding outsiders with rocks and dirt clods, slashing their tires and assaulting them in the water and on shore.

City officials say all the work, including restoration of the site and clean-up of debris, should be completed Friday. 

dan.weikel@latimes.com

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