In response to the vandalism and violence of the so-called Lunada Bay Boys, Palos Verdes Police Chief Jeff Kepley has vowed to make arrests. But the harassment has apparently been ongoing for decades, so many residents seem skeptical that the police will actually be effective. The surfer gang has been so good at avoiding justice that Surfing Magazine even claims they have a “kind of respect” for “the Lunada Bay Bays in a weird way.”
In a related report by The Inquisitr, when asked about the Lunada Bay Boys, Palos Verdes’ police seemed uncertain that they would be able to make a quick change to the area.
“We will make an example out of anyone who behaves criminally down there,” Kepley explained. “I’m not so naive to believe that we can solve this instantly or overnight. It took 50 years to get here. Hopefully, it won’t take that long to resolve, but I think it’s very important to get the word out as aggressively and enthusiastically as we can that the status quo is going to be mixed up around here.”
To put the actions of the Lunada Bay Boys into perspective, protesters once tried demonstrating against the harassment by the Bay Boys. In response, the Los Angeles Times reports the local police essentially protected the surfer gang by checking the protester’s vehicles for anything they could cite, including broken headlights and expired license tags. The police eventually cleared the area out by citing a bomb threat.
In 1997, it is reported that Palos Verdes police ordered a TV news crew out of the area, and in 2005 a video camera aimed toward the waves was removed by the City Council. The locals opposed this move, since the video camera might have caught the Lunada Bay Boys’ crimes in action.
By 2015, things had seemingly not improved. A dispatcher at the police station was caught in a 2015 video talking about the Lunada Bay Boys in a manner which seemed to confirm “that the police take a hands-off approach to the Bay Boys and might even share some of their disdain for outsiders.”
“We know all of them. They are infamous around here,” the Palos Verdes police dispatcher was heard saying. “They are pretty much grown men in little men’s mind-set. They don’t like anyone who isn’t one of the Bay Boys surfing down there. It literally is like a game with kids on a schoolyard to them, and they don’t want you playing on their swing set. It is what it is. If you feel uncomfortable, you know, then don’t do it.”
Local activist Geoff Hagins claims the “Bay Boys are a lot more sinister than people know” and he believes it is a “bully system… supported by the community and the police.” Hagins claims he and his elderly parents have reported death threats from the Lunada Bay Boys, but so far there have been no arrests.
Well-traveled surfer Sef Krell says he has been attacked by the Lunada Bay Boys, and he believes the Palos Verdes police never adequately pursued his case. Krell claims the only solution is for the police to proactively hunt down the offenders.
“Doing a drive-by of the bluff when there aren’t any waves isn’t going to do anything,” said Krell. “The chief needs to put detectives on the cliff in plainclothes when there is going to be [a] swell. And they need to do what any other police departments do: real field investigations with suspect descriptions and names and phone numbers.”
Surfing Magazine may have a weird sort of respect for the surfer gang, but the magazine also uses the F-Bomb to describe the childish antics of the Palos Verdes surfers. And they only “respect” the surfing gang because they have managed to pull it off for so long.
“Are their methods brash and childish? Absolutely. Are they entitled p****s? I’m sure! But do they achieve their goal? Very much so,” Brendan Buckley wrote for Surfing Magazine. “Part of me wants to believe that they are well aware of how cavemanish their shtick is, but are also aware of how effective if is, and so they carry on in a guilty, blissful daze. Most people — myself included — want nothing to do with that place. Why surf an average wave and get harassed when you could just go surf a normal wave with normal people and enjoy yourself?”
So will the police every really arrest the Lunada Bay Boys? Palos Verdes Police Chief Jeff Kepley says he has officers making “making frequent visits to the bluff above Lunada Bay to look for trouble,” and now he says if the police “did discount a claim [of a crime by the Bay Boys], and I’m not saying we did, we are going to make sure we do the right thing.”
[Photo credit: Rich Carey/Shutterstock]