Los Angeles

More Seek to Join Legal Fight Against ‘Surfer Gang'

Attorneys seeking a gang injunction said they have received dozens of calls and emails from people complaining of harassment and intimidation.

After a class-action lawsuit was filed last week, more people have come forward, claiming they have been victims of harassment and intimidation by a so-called "surfer gang" that guards beach turf near the Palos Verdes Estates.

The suit asks a federal judge to prevent the group of surfers known as the Lunada Bay Boys from congregating at beaches in the wealthy beach area south of Los Angeles.

Attorneys seeking a gang injunction said they have received dozens of calls and emails from people that claim they have been harassed by the Bad Boys.

"Our class is growing in size by the minute," said Vic Otten, an environmental attorney who is preparing the suit along with Kurt Franklin. "I got a call from a couple guys that were harassed in the late 1960s." 

Among the three plaintiffs named in the case are a 45-year-old El Segundo police officer and experienced surfer, Diana Milena Reed, 29, of Malibu, who's an aspiring big wave surfer and the Coastal Protection Rangers who work to protect beach access.

Reed claims on two occasions this year she was scared off by local surfers who threatened her and poured beer on her.

"I've never had a 40-to-50-year-old man screaming profanities at me and yelling at me," she said. "It's a way I 've never been treated before in my life."

There have also been reports of the group threatening outsiders, throwing rocks at them and vandalizing their cars.

Otten says people were afraid to come forward with their allegations but that he sees that changing.

"The beach belongs to all of all of us... they don't have the right to take it from the people and we're going to give it back to the public," he said.

But several people who live in the area claim the lawsuit is baseless.

"Everybody I know has been nice," Amanda Calhoun, a Palos Verdes Estates resident, told NBC4. "When you get men in certain situations they act like guys. And I think maybe there is some of that, not to the extent they need a federal lawsuit. It's silly."

The suit, which names seven Bay Boys and Police Chief Jeff Kepley and City Manager Tony Dahlerbruch, asks the judge to require the municipality to investigate and prosecute crimes committed by the Bay Boys.

Kepley said in an earlier article that the department has stepped up patrols to try and prevent problems at Lunada Bay this year. City officials told NBC4 they are doing everything to enforce the law and protect public safety.

The suit seeks to ban gangs from the surfing spot and force each member to pay fines of up to $30,000 each. The Palos Verdes Estates could also face fines. 

Those named in the lawsuit did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

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