Police square off against unruly crowds following U.S. Open of Surfing

Police in riot gear converged on downtown Huntington Beach Sunday evening to break up an unruly crowd that had gathered following the U.S. Open of Surfing.

A Huntington Beach Police spokesman said the department had requested help from neighboring agencies to quell the disturbance.


Witnesses and police said fights broke out around 7 p.m., shortly after the surfing competition ended. Police did not provide details on whether there had been injuries or arrests.

One witness, Russ Mundi, who attended the surfing contest, said he saw crowds tip over portable toilets and defy orders from police to leave. He said police fired what smelled like tear gas. “I heard shots going off, and the whole crowd just started running,” he said.

The surfing event drew thousands of people to the Huntington Beach boardwalk over the weekend.


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Twitter: @katelinthicum