Pier Plaza fight causes early morning ruckus in Hermosa Beach
A fight broke out around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday at Pier Plaza causing the Hermosa Beach Police Department to call in additional units and arrest two people, Interim Police Chief Michael McCrary said.
The fight originated when one of the suspects asked the other where he was from and ended up an eight person battle, with Pier Plaza onlookers cheering them on, according to police reports.
“They always look bigger when you have these kinds of things happen,” McCrary said, denying rumors that the police called in a ‘999’ to dispatch, meaning urgent help needed, or officer down. “An awful lot of folks are bystanders and a certain amount get involved, and it’s difficult to determine how large it really is.”
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Rumors also circulated that 50 cops reported to the scene as well as a helicopter and seven people were eventually arrested.
“A lot of units were cancelled before they got here,” McCrary said, adding that HBPD did call for mutual aid from surrounding agencies and very few made it on scene. “They cleared the plaza so they wouldn’t have any more fights. I don’t know how many [additional] officers in total showed up, but probably three from Manhattan Beach three from Redondo Beach.” He also said that the call for aid might have been a little premature and no helicopters were called to the scene.
McCrary said the fight began soon after the bars closed.
“They were in the middle of the plaza after the bars let out,” McCrary said. “People were standing around, and anybody that’s had words inside will continue on once they’re outside.”
According to the police report, the fight began after the second suspect responded to the question of where he was from. “I’m not a gang member,” the man reportedly said.
“Then the guy sucker punched him,” said McCrary. “Initially there were two bystanders involved, but you don’t know how many people are pulling them away or fighting and then you have the whole group around watching, yelling and screaming. It looks worse than it is, but that’s with any fight there.”
The two arrestees were from Lawndale and Compton.
Lt. Garth Gaines said that the four officers on duty downtown as well as three additional HBPD cops and only half a dozen officers from other agencies responded.
“It was just a typical fight,” said Gaines. “Everybody was pretty intoxicated, just typical drunk males in a close proximity.”