Long Beach police have been preparing all week for the possibility of a so-called bash mob, a group of people who get together to commit crimes. The bash mob never showed up Friday, possibly because of the heavy police presence downtown. Hetty Chang reports from Long Beach for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on July 19, 2013.
Long Beach police on Friday braced for a planned “Bash Mob” attack on businesses and bystanders, but the threat never materialized.
The “Bash Mob,” a planned, sudden assembly of individuals who attack people and businesses, was expected in Long Beach, 10 days after a previous attack by about 100 people in the Pike and City Place areas downtown.
In that attack participants stole property, committed vandalism and assaults, Long Beach Police Department Sgt. Aaron Eaton said.
Detectives investigating the July 9 crimes found out about another event by the same group scheduled for 2 p.m. on Friday. But by Friday evening, police were still standing by, waiting for the group to show.
Downtown businesses and high-rises were on high alert (pictured below), bracing for a disturbance.
"We're just going to keep the doors down here closed because we don't want a bunch of people coming in for no apparent reason," said Georgina Hill, a supervisor at Piccolo's bookstore.
Police had hoped their heavy presence sent a clear message to the group and any others who may be planning similar events.
"The Long Beach Police Department takes this issue very seriously and will be prepared to arrest anyone whose intent is to commit criminal acts,'' Eaton said.
"We will continue to support everyone's right to free speech and assembly. However, the police must also protect the safety of those victims targeted by these 'bash mobs.'"
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