149 arrested after viral TikTok video draws thousands to California party

U.S. & World

A picture taken on January 21, 2021 in Nantes, western France shows a smartphone with the logo of Chinese social network Tik Tok. (Photo by LOIC VENANCE / AFP) (Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)

(KTLA) – Huntington Beach police arrested 149 people after a massive crowd descended on the California beach Saturday for a party promoted in a TikTok video. The crowd grew “unruly,” police said, prompting them to declare an unlawful assembly.

The young party-goers were invited to the event dubbed “Adrian’s kickback” in a viral video, which garnered over 3 million views and caught the attention of local police, who worked with agencies in neighboring cities to prepare for the mass gathering.

The crowd, initially estimated to be a few hundred people at the beach around 8 p.m., grew “rapidly,” the Huntington Beach Police Department officials said in a news release. 

As more people joined, the crowd moved into the downtown area, where police estimate more than 2,500 people were gathered, including people from various cities and counties.

“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,” Huntington Beach police said.

Police declared an unlawful assembly at 7:13 p.m.

Video from the scene appeared to show police armed with less than lethal weapons and deploying some kind of chemical agent as a crowd set off fireworks in the street, several times near police vehicles.

Police cruisers were seen with shattered windows and covered in graffiti.

A loud siren blared through the streets as officers worked to disperse the crowd, which included people who climbed on top of cars and on to a traffic signal pole, video showed.

Police requested backup from outside agencies, with more than 150 officers “from virtually all agencies within Orange County” arriving to help, the department said.

At 11:30 p.m., the agency announced an emergency curfew in effect through 5:30 a.m. Sunday for everyone in the area of Beach Boulevard to Goldenwest Street and Pacific Coast Highway to Yorktown Avenue.

Officers arrested 121 adults and 28 people under the age of 18, police announced Sunday.

They were all booked on suspicion of various offenses, including vandalism, the firing of dangerous or illegal fireworks, failure to disperse and curfew violations.

Police said multiple businesses in the downtown area, numerous police vehicles and a lifeguard tower were left damaged in the aftermath of Saturday’s gathering.

Cellphone video obtained by KTLA showed party-goers standing on a lifeguard tower and jumping on it as it caved in.

On Sunday, people were seen cleaning up the area.

A local vendor, Kandie Gonzalez of Peace Sol & Succulents, said she found a lot of her inventory missing after the chaos, leaving her in tears.

“These kids that ran through, no remorse,” Gonzalez said. “We’ve seen kids driving by saying, ‘So funny.’ It’s not funny guys. It’s not.” 

GoFundMe page was set up to help 40 local artists whose stands were damaged at the Huntington Beach pier. 

No significant injuries have been reported and no other details were immediately available.

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