Several of the teens believed responsible for the savage mob beating of three off-duty U.S. Marines ahead of Memorial Day weekend have been arrested and charged.
While the Californian mob that descended upon the servicemen was more than 40 persons deep, five have so far been hit with felony charges, and another four may receive misdemeanor charges.
What's the background?
TheBlaze previously reported that three U.S. Marines confronted elements of a mob about their unruly behavior Friday evening at the San Clement Pier Bowl area.
According to one of the victims, Hunter Antonino, "They were lighting off fireworks, they were being belligerent and obnoxious and annoying other people, so I went up to them and told them to stop."
The Daily Mail reported that the mob not only refused Antonino's request, but followed him back to the pier.
Footage of the incident appears to show a teenager punch one of the victims in the back of the head near the stairs to the pier. The recipient of the cowardly punch immediately seeks out his attacker, but the teenager who delivered the blow, unwilling to face his victim, retreats behind his violent peers. The Marine is then attacked on all sides.
Just seconds later, more elements of the mob began to attack the Marines, two of whom can be seen later in the video receiving a flurry of kicks and punches to their heads while curled up in the fetal position on the ground.
Some of those cheering on the mob beating yelled, "Get that f***er," "f*** that f***er up" as well as racially charged language.
"I didn't know what was going on. I was just trying to go back to the car and then I had turned around ... to help them out. And then we're just all in this circle being stomped on, beat up," said Antonino.
The beating continued until two adults broke it up.
While bloodied, Antonino and his friends were left with only minor injuries and refused to be taken to the hospital.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department indicated that the individuals responsible would be "identified and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
Caught on tape
The Orange County Sheriff's Department said that investigators identified four male juveniles and one female juvenile believed to have been involved in the beating, all of whom were arrested Tuesday and booked into Orange County Juvenile Hall.
San Clemente Mayor Chris Duncan indicated that a total of nine juveniles may ultimately be charged in connection with the attack, reported CBS News.
"They think they have the people they are looking for," said Duncan. "Not to say that there might not be a few others out there. They feel pretty confident that they have the main perpetrators."
All nine are reportedly minors and local residents.
Five have reportedly been charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon (non-firearm). Four more may ultimately be charged with misdemeanor assault.
Concerning the charges, OCSD Sgt. Mike Woodroof told Fox News that anyone, regardless of age, who "kicks another human being in the head to cause damage, internal injury to that magnitude will be arrested for a felony assault deadly weapon."
Duncan indicated that the suspects were tracked down using the multiple videos taken of the altercation.
"They had some videotape that wasn't readily available to the public that had a lot better images of the individuals involved," said Duncan. "In today's age, you're going to get caught — people are going to record it."
Duncan added, "I hope this serves as a learning lesson for young folks in the community not to let themselves get out of control when something like this happens."
Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!