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2 teens arrested in vandalism of Costa Mesa police cars after Trump rally

Vandalism suspect

Costa Mesa police say they are looking for this suspect in the vandalism of a police car during a protest after Donald Trump’s April 28 rally at the Pacific Amphitheatre.

(Costa Mesa Police Department)

Police announced Tuesday that they have arrested two teenagers suspected of vandalizing police cars during a protest that turned violent after Donald Trump’s April 28 campaign stop in Costa Mesa.

Authorities did not release the suspects’ names, saying only that they are male minors who live in Costa Mesa. One was arrested last week, the other about three weeks earlier, said Costa Mesa police Sgt. Matt Grimmond.

According to Grimmond, one of the teens is suspected of vandalizing a police cruiser by kicking in its door. Authorities allege the other was seen writing on a different police car with a blue marker.

Police are still looking for other suspects in the vandalism of a total of six police cars, Grimmond said.

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On Tuesday, investigators released photos of a male jumping on the dented roof of a police car. He was wearing black pants, a white shirt, a black hat with green under the bill, gray shoes and a gray shirt over his mouth.

Authorities asked that anyone who knows the suspect’s identity contact detectives at (714) 754-5198.

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The arrests announced Tuesday came in the wake of Trump’s rally at the OC Fair & Event Center’s Pacific Amphitheatre. According to Costa Mesa police, more than 30,000 people descended on the area in hopes of attending the free rally or to protest outside. The amphitheater seats 8,500, and many supporters of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee could not get in.

After the rally, crowds flooded nearby streets and some demonstrators threw rocks, smashed car windows and tried to flip a police car.

In addition to the six damaged police vehicles, four civilian motorists reported damage to their cars, but police said they have no leads in those cases.

Police said they also are investigating two assault cases related to the protests.

In one incident, a Costa Mesa police officer wearing a helmet was hit on the head with a thrown rock. In the other, a civilian was hit on the head, police said.

“The Costa Mesa Police Department continues to vigorously pursue investigative leads to identify and hold the responsible parties accountable for their involvement in the activities which occurred after the Trump rally in Costa Mesa,” police said in a statement.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is investigating another assault report and a case of reckless driving, according to Costa Mesa police.

Seventeen people were arrested the night of the rally on suspicion of unlawful assembly, police said. In May, the Orange County district attorney’s office announced it had charged one of them with a felony count of vandalism and a misdemeanor count of inciting a riot.

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Prosecutors allege that Luis Fernando Alarcon, 19, of Anaheim threw a rock or a roof tile at a California Highway Patrol cruiser. Alarcon has pleaded not guilty.

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Jeremiah Dobruck, jeremiah.dobruck2@latimes.com

Twitter: @jeremiahdobruck

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