The Huntington Beach Park where a man was allegedly beaten with a skateboard is no stranger to crime, according to police.
"It's an area where we need to keep a high visibility of police presence," Huntington Beach Police Chief Ken Small said. "Those kinds of incidents can happen pretty quickly."
Drug possession, loitering, battery and a single murder are among the crimes reported in the last five years.Nineteen counts of battery have been reported, five of them in 2012, along with eight cases of minors loitering and nine incidents of drug possession.
In August 2012, Derek Christopher Adams was sentenced to 46 years to life in state prison for killing a man in 2010 at Murdy Park.
Skateboard have been used as weapons before during altercations at the park, Small said.
"We have had a lot of assaults where skateboards were used as weapons," he said. "When somebody gets in a fight, [skateboards] happen to be a handy thing to have in your hand. Those things are dangerous. They're heavy, big and sharp-edged, and they can do a lot of damage if you hit somebody with them."
In comparision, Edison Park, which is almost three times as big as Murdy Park, had four counts of battery and one incidence of drug possession in the last five years.
Carl Allen, 50, of Huntington Beach, visits Murdy Park often with his daughter.
"I've never seen any conflicts in all my years I've lived in Huntington Beach," he said. "I've never driven by there and seen kids throwing blows. It seems like the bigger kids silently do their tricks as the little kids wait for their turn. There's a pecking order."
The 25-year-old victim in Friday's incident was allegedly attacked by several teenagers after his girlfriend tried to break up a fight between two groups of teens.
The man, whose name has not been released, was rushed to UCI Medical Center's trauma unit, where he remains in critical condition. The victim sustained "significant blunt-force trauma injuries to the head," police said.
According to police, some of the teenagers started attacking the woman, which prompted the victim to step in. At that point, the juveniles allegedly started hitting the man.
The victim fled on foot, but the skateboarders followed him to a shopping center across the street, police said.
Police say the attack continued at Surf City Laundromat and that the youths used their skateboards as weapons, delivering the heaviest blows to the victim there. Authorities said there was "physical evidence" that indicated the attack took place there.
Authorities reported that an eyewitness identified seven possible suspects, but only four were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. They were booked into Orange County Juvenile Hall.
The father of one of the suspects told KTLA that the victim attacked the boys first.