Accused Huntington Beach rioters beginning to see consequences

Repercussions are starting to reach those police say were responsible for the weekend violence in Huntington Beach, with one man arraigned on three charges Tuesday and another placed on leave from his job.

Chase Scott Christman, 19, of Simi Valley pleaded not guilty Tuesday to felony vandalism, misdemeanor inciting a riot and misdemeanor refusing to disperse in connection with Sunday’s mayhem. He was the first to be arraigned for Sunday’s mayhem in downtown Huntington Beach.

Anaheim resident Michael John Lytle, 30, was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in connection with the disturbance that broke out after the eight-day U.S. Open of Surfing ended Sunday.

Gretchen Beatty, director of human resources for the city of Fullerton, confirmed that Lytle is a Fullerton firefighter and has been placed on paid leave while “there is an investigation on the personnel side.”


Beatty said Lytle was hired as a firefighter in February 2008, which was first reported by the Orange County Register

Sunday evening, unruly beachgoers tipped over portable restrooms, sending waste flowing onto the road. They also rocked a city of Huntington Beach pickup truck, and threw traffic cones and wooden planks pulled from barricades at the truck’s windows after failing to flip it.

Huntington Beach police fired pepper balls and nonlethal projectiles to quell the crowd. Several officers sustained minor injuries, and one person was treated and released from a hospital after being hit by a rubber projectile.

Five other people were also arrested, including Huntington Beach resident Andres Gomez, 24, who was booked on suspicion of refusing to disperse and resisting arrest.

Michael Anthony Avila, 28, of Santa Ana; Joseph Monterrosa, 28, of Ontario; Adam A. Cecot, 18, of Irvine and Kyle Roger Crott, 18, of Riverside were also booked on charges related to disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Authorities are still trying to identify a man videotaped smashing a store window with a stop sign and cheering.

Many people had misidentified that suspect on social media. Huntington Beach police said detectives had spoken to Illario Niko Johnson, 18, and although charges “are expected” against the West Covina resident in connection with the disturbance, his alleged actions were “not related to the window smash.”

“He is not the suspect in the photograph,” police said in a statement.


Huntington Beach Police said there could be further arrests.


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