- Some 2,500 teens descended on Huntington Beach, California on Saturday for a party promoted on TikTok
- Teens from as far as Atlanta, Utah, Arizona, and Puerto Rico saw viral video that generated millions of views
- ‘AdriansKickBack’ party generated some 234 million views on the popular social media app
- TikTok user adrian.lopez517 invited the teens to his birthday party along the beach in Southern California
- Police claim some teens launched fireworks, rocks, and bottles at cops after they were asked to disperse
- Several businesses, a lifeguard tower, and police vehicles were vandalized by the mop, according to cops
- Law enforcement officials said they arrested 121 adults and 28 juveniles for unlawful assembly
- Some were also charged with vandalism, launching illegal fireworks, failure to disperse, and curfew violations
Police in Southern California said an ‘unruly’ crowd of at least 2,500 teens hurled fireworks, bottles, and rocks at officers in Huntington Beach as a party promoted on TikTok descended into chaos.
Law enforcement officials declared an unlawful assembly and arrested about 150 people after they refused orders to disperse.
The massive gathering began with a now-deleted video posted on the popular social media app from a user named adrian.lopez517, who invited anyone to his birthday party by Huntington Beach’s fire pits Saturday night, the Orange County Register reported Sunday.
The hashtag ‘AdriansKickBack’ received more than 234 million views on TikTok.
One partygoer told a New York Times reporter: ‘It’s the first lit party since COVID.’
At least 400 people showed up as early as Friday evening around a lifeguard tower, police Lt. Brian Smith said.
When people in the crowd began to launch fireworks near the fire pits, he said, officers declared an unlawful assembly and the partygoers scattered.
Huntington Beach’s police department posted on Twitter the next day that they were preparing for a surge of visitors due to the promoted party and warned that they will enforce local rules, including no alcohol or drug use on the beach and no fireworks.
However, an even larger crowd showed up Saturday evening.
Police estimated that at least 2,500 people gathered at the beach before moving to the downtown area.
‘The initial crowd at the beach grew in size and moved to the downtown area where it was estimated to be over 2,500,’ the Huntington Beach Police Department said in a statement. Chaotic scene of party held by teens at HuntingtonBeach
‘As the crowd size continued to grow rapidly, large groups disbursed into various locations throughout the area, throwing bottles, rocks, fireworks, and other items at officers.
‘At that time, the HBPD requested assistance from outside agencies.
‘Throughout the course of the evening, over 150 officers from virtually all agencies within Orange County were deployed to Huntington Beach based on the pre-arranged request for assistance.’
Officers again ordered the crowd to disperse and issued an overnight curfew after partygoers began to climb atop a lifeguard tower and shot more fireworks, police said.
Video footage from the scene shows officers dressed in riot helmets shutting streets to control the crowd and, in some instances, firing less-lethal rounds.
Police said some people threw bottles, rocks and fireworks at officers.
The people arrested included 121 adults and 28 juveniles who were booked for vandalism, illegally setting fireworks, failing to disperse and violating curfews, said police spokeswoman Jennifer Carey.
A number of downtown businesses, police vehicles and a lifeguard tower were damaged, but no significant injuries were reported, she said.
Huntington Beach, which connects a vibrant business district to an 8-mile stretch of sand, has been the site of large gatherings in the last year as pandemic-related restrictions, the 2020 presidential election and the Black Lives Matter movement drew protesters who sometimes clashed with police in the downtown area.