Surf Hooligans Being Sued For Localism

The Lunada Bay Boys surf gang has allegedly slashed tires, thrown dirt, and assaulted visitors and beach-goers for decades. Wonder how those tactics will work in court? We shall soon find out.

lunada bay boys
Lunada Bay Boys chucking rocks at a passing drone

A class action suit against the crew was filed March 29th by co-plaintiffs Cory Spencer, an El Segundo police officer, and Diana Milena Reed, a Malibu-based filmmaker, photographer, and surfer.

In it, the self-proclaimed “Bay Boys” are alleged to have committed continued acts of harassment and violence, primarily targeting visitors and tourists.

Extreme ‘Localism’

With waves more crowded each year, territorial behavior among surfers is nothing new. But the case of the Lunada Bay Boys has captivated many thanks to its persistence in the face of years of media coverage and notoriety.

While the softly rolling point break at Lunada Bay seems idyllic, those who venture in the water (or in some cases, just to the beach) will likely be surrounded, intimidated, and possibly assaulted. Their cars are likely to be vandalized, and they may be hit with rocks.

All this has kept this easily accessible, public beach largely off limits even though it lies within easy access of millions of people. Will the courts change this tide of localism?

Lawsuit Against Surfers

According to the suit, the gang is known to “confront, threaten, intimidate, and harass non-local beachgoers.” It also alleges that the wealthy township of Palos Verdes Estates “has a long history of deliberate indifference in not investigating or otherwise policing acts of violence and vandalism.”

Police Chief Jeff Kepley is also named as a defendant, with plaintiffs claiming he is complicit in the melee due to local law enforcement’s inaction against the Bay Boys.

The suit asks the court to prevent the gang from continuing to congregate at an “illegal rock-masonry-and-wood fort structure at the base of [a] 100-foot bluff,” and aims to pressure local authorities to police the gang more forcefully.

The town of Palos Verdes Estate is a wealthy community of approximately 13,500 residents with a median income of $170,000.

Adam Ruggiero

Adam Ruggiero is the Editor In Chief of GearJunkie.

Adam has been covering daily news and writing about cycling, camping, hiking, and gear of all kinds for 15+ years. Prior to that, Adam lived in Hawaii and Puerto Rico, at which time he realized he’d never have a “normal job.” His pastimes — farming, bike racing, and fitness — provided a gateway to all manner of physical challenges and recreation outdoors.

Based in Kansas City, MO, Adam tests as much gear as he can get his hands, feet (and dog) into each and every day. As editor in chief, he works to maintain GearJunkie’s voice, style, and commitment to accurate and expert reporting across every category.