Pacific Beach makes Worldwide News – Labor Day RiotSeptember 5, 2007 No Comments
Our Labor Day fiasco has garnered many headlines for Pacific Beach. Is this how you want Pacific Beach portrayed in the news?
This Associated Press story – and similar variations shown below – appeared in many markets including:
The Globe and Mail – Canada: Story 1 – Video Story
Yahoo! News – Video Story
San Jose Mercury News
KNBC-TV – Los Angeles
International Herald Tribune, France
Long Beach Press Telegram
Guardian Unlimited, England
San Diego police break up big beach brawl, 15 facing charges
16 face charges after Calif. beach brawl
Police in riot gear sprayed smoke and tear gas to break up a hostile crowd throwing bottles and cans during a massive brawl at San Diego’s Pacific Beach.Fifteen people were arrested and face charges ranging from public drunkenness to assaulting police officers. The size of the crowd was estimated at about 500.
After lifeguards called police about a fistfight, hecklers began throwing bottles and sand at police who were writing citations, prompting a call for riot-control teams, said San Diego Police Department spokeswoman Monica Munoz.
Lifeguards evacuated four towers, removed their uniforms and ran into the water to waiting rescue boats, Lifeguard Service Lt. Nick Lerma said.
“It just got out of control,” Lerma said.
It was not immediately known what triggered the fight.
A police helicopter hovered over the beach while officers on the ground formed a skirmish line along the boardwalk.
No officers were injured.
Lifeguards said an estimated 364,000 people visited San Diego beaches on Monday.
San Diego Beach Riots Prompts Calls for Alcohol Ban
Updated: 4:44 p.m. PT Sept 4, 2007
SAN DIEGO – At least 16 people are arrested after riot police are called in Monday to control an unruly crowd at Pacific Beach in San Diego, officials said. Images: Beach Riot
Witnesses said the problems started just after 5 p.m. when two police officers on four-wheel all-terrain vehicles tried to break up a fight on the beach near the intersection of Mission Avenue and Reed Street. Some beachgoers tried to push one of the ATVs into the ocean. The officers called for backup after the crowd began growing and becoming more rowdy, police said. Witnesses said at least 100 people began fighting on the beach. About 70 officers converged on the scene, including a contingent of about a dozen officers in riot gear. Some people in the crowd began pelting officers with cans and bottles, police said. Officers responded by firing pepper balls at the crowd. Police arrested more than a dozen people and cleared the area and also blocked traffic on Mission Avenue between Reed and Pacific Beach.
It took officers about 90 minutes to bring the situation under control.
One beachgoer was treated for minor injuries. One police officer suffered a twisted knee.
A law being drafted would ban drinking on all San Diego beaches, City Attorney Michael Aguirre said Tuesday in the aftermath of the seaside brawl.
“San Diego County is one of the only jurisdictions in Southern California that allows alcohol consumption on its beaches,” Aguirre said. “It was clear that alcohol was present and was deeply involved in this unfortunate incident,” Aguirre said. “I think it is a fortunate reality that there wasn’t a death or serious bodily injury suffered by our police officers or by those that were in attendance.” Councilman Kevin Faulconer, who represents Pacific Beach, held a briefing this afternoon at the site of the Labor Day melee, calling for a more stringent alcohol policy on San Diego’s beaches. Faulconer convened a beach area task force last year to discuss ways to curb alcohol abuse on the city’s beaches. A proposition to ban drinking year round at city beaches, Proposition G, failed by a narrow margin in 2002.
Faulconer said alcohol undoubtedly played a role in the confrontation between a rowdy crowd and more than 70 San Diego police officers Monday. He called for some significant changes to be made quickly.
“We can not allow this to ever happen again on the beaches of San Diego. We just can’t,” Faulconer said.
The Pacific Beach community has long been divided over a ban on alcohol at the beach. For nearly a year, a Beach Alcohol Task Force has been meeting to address problems related to drinking on the beach. The task force is made up of residents and businesses owners in Pacific, Mission and Ocean Beaches. Faulconer is the chairman of the group.
Monday night, several Pacific Beach residents told NBC San Diego that Monday’s violence shows the need for some restrictions.
Some residents support an alcohol ban. Others favor more rules targeting bad behavior and tougher enforcement. Faulconer said both approaches should be considered.
“Any time you have a situation with this type of rowdy activity — you have people not respecting our law enforcement officers — we’re going to have to make some changes,” Faulconer said.
Top video on Seattlepi.com a world famous blog
The most watched video on seattlepi.com shows a brawl that erupted at San Diego’s Pacific Beach Monday, forcing police to don riot gear. Officers used smoke and mace to control partiers at the crowded beach. Watch the video.