Back in 2014? Huntington Beach task force to discuss fate of US Open of Surfing

Kelly Slater of the US competes in the f


Kelly Slater of the US competes in the final of the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach on August 7, 2011 in southern California where the ten-time world surfing champion defeated Australia's Yadin Nicol for the title. The future of the event in Huntington Beach is up for discussion after vandalism and an outbreak of rioting followed the 2013 competition.

Huntington Beach police Facebook photos

Courtesy Huntington Beach Police Department

Police uploaded an album of suspect images to their Facebook page in the hopes that witnesses would help them identify rioters who broke windows and overturned portable bathrooms after July's U.S. Open of Surfing.

Huntington Beach riot on Main St, 7/28/2013

Norman Hartono (via YouTube)

The future of a surfing event in Huntington Beach will be discussed at a Thursday meeting of the Huntington Beach Downtown Task Force. (File photo: Some in a crowd of people begin overturning portable restrooms, throwing bottles and other acts of vandalism in downtown Huntington Beach after the final day of the U.S. Open of Surfing competition in July 2013).

Brian Watt

Alejo Muniz of Brazil beat local favorite Kolohe Andino of San Clemente in the mens’ finals to win the Vans US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach Sunday, July 18, 2013.

The future of the U.S. Open of Surfing event in Huntington Beach will be the focus of the city's downtown task force meeting Thursday evening.

The task force is partly a response to the vandalism and riot that happened after the surfing competition last July.

IMG is the longtime producer of the beach event, which brings money to the city and the producer. 

IMG plans to make a presentation to the task force members about the future of the event in the city and about public safety issues surrounding it.

The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. Thursday and is open to the public.

Back in July, after the final day of competition in the U.S. Open of Surfing at the Huntington Beach Pier, police clashed on nearby streets with mostly young men who knocked over portable toilets, vandalized shops, and started fights. 

Some in the crowd threw glass bottles at police, damaged newspaper stands and set fires. 

About 250 police officers from Huntington Beach and neighboring law enforcement agencies were brought in to control the mob after the surfing event. 

Several people, some under 18, were charged with misdemeanor offenses including vandalism, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, assault and inciting a riot. 

In September, the City of Huntington Beach went to court to stop a planned beach dance party. 

While the city's request was turned down, event organizers were denied an alcohol permit for the Wet Electric Beach Party. 

The event drew fewer than the 8,000 expected at Huntington State Beach, and there were few problems. 

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