'Surfer Gang' Beach Fort Causes Problems

A rowdy collection of Palos Verdes surfers, some of them middle-aged, will resort to criminal tactics to keep outsiders away from their favorite spot. They've even built a fort, and officials are having trouble getting rid of it.

1 minute read

July 2, 2016, 7:00 AM PDT

By Philip Rojc @PhilipRojc

Lunada Bay

tiarescott / Flickr

In Los Angeles, truth can be stranger than fiction. The territorial surfers who comprise the "Lunada Bay Boys" are one such case. Demographically distinct from most gangs, their alleged antics include "bombarding outsiders with dirt clods, slashing their tires and assaulting them in the water -- sometimes coordinating the attacks with walkie-talkies." This coming from older, whiter men living in the affluent neighborhood of Palos Verdes. 

Despite an order from the Coastal Commission to tear down their "fort," the city of Palos Verdes Estates has been slow to act, according to a recent statement. Garret Therolf writes, "The city's statement came in response to a letter the Coastal Commission sent on Tuesday telling the city that it has until July 6 to develop a plan to tear down the crudely built structure or begin a permitting process that would include measures to improve access to one of the state's most coveted – and hostile – surf breaks." 

The Bay Boys have apparently harassed enough of their fellow beach-goers to inspire a class-action lawsuit. Victims have petitioned a federal judge to ban the gang members from the beach, and their suit asks that a judge require city officials to investigate and prosecute the Bay Boys' crimes. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016 in Los Angeles Times

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