Unruly crowds in Huntington Beach damaged property and clashed with police Sunday night following the close of a major surf competition.
Witnesses said a rowdy group of young men threw bottles, tipped over portable toilets and looted at least one store before police dressed in riot gear quelled the disturbance. Witnesses said police used tear gas and non-lethal projectiles to clear the crowds.
Police said the unrest began when a fight broke out at about 7 p.m., shortly after the conclusion of the eight-day U.S. Open of Surfing, which brought thousands of spectators to the Huntington Beach boardwalk. They did not provide details on whether there had been injuries or arrests.
One witness, Russ Mundi, who attended the surfing contest, said police fired what smelled like tear gas after the crowd defied orders to leave. "I heard shots going off, and the whole crowd just started running," he said.