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On May 31, 2021, nine juveniles were charged in connection with an attack on three United States Marines that occurred on Memorial Day weekend in San Clemente, California. According to Mayor Chris Duncan of San Clemente, five individuals were charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon and remain in custody while the remaining four, who were released from custody, face misdemeanor assault and battery charges.

The altercation reportedly began when the Marines warned the teens against setting off fireworks on the beach. In response, the nine juveniles together allegedly assaulted the Marines. As a result, the five juveniles in custody, four boys and one girl, were taken into the Orange County Juvenile Hall for booking.

This violent incident is a stark reminder that, as a society, we must be aware of our responsibility to protect those who serve our nation in the military. In this case, the Marines were intervening to keep everyone safe and enforce the law. It is important that we take a stronger stance against such callous violence and hold those accountable for their actions.

San Clemente officials have stepped up to answer the outcry for accountability; the five suspects are in custody facing felony charges. It is especially important for minors to understand that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. We owe it to our service members to ensure justice, our commitment to them now and always.

The San Clemente Police Department is offering support to the victims involved in the incident, as well as working with the local community to ensure that minors are aware of what not to do in such situations. We encourage citizens to join us in making young people in our state aware of the consequences of engaging in criminal behavior.

In a time of national unrest and division, it is more important than ever to stand together to combat violence in all its forms. We ask that you please join us in supporting victims of violence, upholding the law, and restoring peace to our community.