A large group of men attacked a 16-year-old girl and her companions at Venice Beach Skate Park, culminating in the girl being slammed in the head with a skateboard.
The girl wound up with a four-inch gash in her head which required staples to close. Her boyfriend, who lost a tooth in the assault, needed stiches to his head and lower lip.
The violent incident was captured on cellphone video which was uploaded to social media and turned over to police. Most, but not all, of the bystanders just watched the melee.
A turf war of a sorts may or may not have been the source of the brutal encounter. Someone can be heard on the video shouting “go back home.”
KTLA described what happened in the Thursday night incident.
“According to the teen, the two males had apparently recognized her from a confrontation last month in which she was told at the time not to come back to the area. Suddenly, a group of at least 30 skateboarders ‘came out of nowhere’ and started attacking them, she said… The couple was repeatedly punched and kicked by the group. At one point, after her boyfriend was down on the ground, [the female victim] got hit in the back of the head with a skateboard.”
A good Samaritan who witnessed the attack may have saved the female victim’s life by laying down on top of her and absorbing some of the blows from the onslaught. “If it wasn’t for her, Lord knows what they would be doing to me. They were hurting her too…because she was screaming,” said the victim, identified by multiple media outlets as Brooklyn Smith, 16.
The suspects are still at large, but Smith indicated that she may be able to identify them.
Detectives have not yet determined if this was a gang-related incident. “Police are not classifying it as a gang crime, but say it may have been an argument about people not from the area hanging out at the skatepark,” NBC Los Angeles reported.
Fights in the area aren’t out of the ordinary, but the ferocity of this particular beatdown is, ABC7 Los Angeles suggested. One local told the station that “I’m just really disgusted. Skateboards aren’t to be used for violence like that, and I just hope that people don’t think this is what we do in Venice.”
Watch news reports on the Venice Beach skateboard attack as well as what appears to be the raw footage of the incident.
[top image credit: Stig Nygaard]