Police Break Up Massive Crowd at Veteran’s Plaza in Ocean Beach

by on August 6, 2020 · 29 comments

in Health, Ocean Beach

Wednesday night, August 5, at about 10 pm, San Diego police broke up the massive crowd that had gathered at Veteran’s Plaza in Ocean Beach. SDPD officers made announcements from their vehicles parked in the Lifeguard Station lot – and the announcements were met with boo’s. It’s not clear what happened afterwards.

Police were responding to complaints from the OB Town Council and residents about the irresponsible, out-of-control huge parties, the noise and trash. Hundreds of people have been gathering on the greens for a drum circle, dancing, unlicensed vendors – without wearing masks or employing social distancing.

CBS8 quoted one drum circle attendee, Phaux, as saying, “The pandemic to me is not realistic.”

Police, Councilwoman Campbell and County Supervisor Fletcher were all notified of the complaints. At the base of the complaints is the inadequate and insufficient response by local government to these gatherings after Wednesday’s OB Farmers Market, which have been going on for weeks.

The crowd at Veteran’s Plaza and parking lot, Wed., Aug. 5, 2020. These photos are screen captures from News8.

Campbell has come under increasing criticism for lack of attention on the problem. Her office released a statement in response to the OBTC’s letter – and some on the Town Council feel it was totally inadequate and seemed to blame the Farmers Market for the problems. She appeared to link the two events – the market and the irresponsible gatherings – in ways that did not seem reasonable. Here’s Campbell’s statement:

My office has received complaints about the OB Farmer’s Market crowds gathering at Veteran’s Plaza on Wednesday evenings ever since I came into office. These two events have contributed to the culture of OB for decades and have an undeniable reciprocal effect on each other. However, some members of the community have raised a number of issues about the Wednesday evening crowds including complaints about non-permitted vendors, noise from music, non-compliance with COVID-19 health orders, and an increase of trash.

During my term, we have provided additional trash receptacles in response to the influx in visitors, have dealt with re-sodding of the grassy area from overuse, and have collaborated with SDPD to have additional walking teams and resources to address these complaints. For most of 2020, the Farmer’s Market and associated gatherings have not been an issue as the events were not being held. Concerns have escalated now that the Farmer’s Market is up and running and the crowds have returned.

My office will continue to work with the community to find common ground now that the Wednesday crowds have returned to enjoy the market and the beach. SDPD has committed to direct additional resources on Wednesday evenings to better enforce noise complaint issues. I have also urged the Mayor and county to enforce mask wearing and social distancing and will continue to do so. I will also be encouraging the OB Mainstreet Association, who hosts the Wednesday farmer’s market, to consider a range of options that would make direct and positive impact for concerned OB residents.
As always, we appreciate our OB community’s engagement and will continue to work with them to ensure the we can all enjoy this unique and special corner of San Diego.

San Diego Police e-mailed the following statement to CBSNews 8:

“SDPD Western Division is aware of this community concern and is looking at ways to address it from a variety of approaches, in order to find a solution that respects both sides of this issue.

As a department, we recognize the quality of life issues that can arise from calls like these. OB is an area rich in culture and expression is practically a way of life.
That said, what is also a way of life for all of San Diego is living in peace with our neighbors. Our hope is that those involved in the drum circle events would consider self-managing and perhaps find a start and end time which honors those who live in the surrounding neighborhood and doing so in a manner that recognizes the unique times we are living in with the advent of COVID-19.

Efforts to address the concerns in the interim have included: routine patrols in the area when possible and enforcement of ancillary violations, such as: open alcohol & narcotics violations.

As much as is appropriate in our role, SDPD will continue to look for ways we can be helpful in finding a resolution to this issue. We will also be gauging what if any additional enforcement efforts may be appropriate.”

It remains to be seen, of course, how people who attend the gatherings will respond over time. The unlicensed vendors could be in trouble. And the fear is that government will shut down the Farmers Market. This ongoing saga has gotten media attention and some attention from police. Watch this space.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Dr. Jack Hammer August 6, 2020 at 12:20 pm

I would bet that the vast majority of those folks aren’t even local. And the Air BnB crowd just gawks, takes pictures, and feeds the beast.

Just ‘reseed’ the grass again and rope it off. Problem solved. No vendors and no party…


Geoff Page August 6, 2020 at 1:05 pm

Campbell’s rep, Teodoro “Teddy” Martinez reiterated the claim that the Framer’s Market was to blame at the OB Planning Board meeting last night. It is amazing how out of touch they are in the District 2 office.


Frank Gormlie August 6, 2020 at 4:25 pm

!!%%##@@&&%%!! (and gnashing of teeth, what’s left)


retired botanist August 6, 2020 at 3:36 pm

Don’t even know what to say! Its horrendous! Campbell is wrong to include the “drum circle” gathering or whatever the hell that is, as a tack-on to the farmer’s market. The farmer’s market where I am has strict guidelines- no handling of food except by vendors, a one way system, buy and leave, no consuming onsite, masks required, and when its over its over. And people understand and honor the constraints.
What is wrong with these crowd people? They’re out of their minds! they must live under a rock to not understand the GLOBAL situation with this highly infectious virus! They aren’t demonstrating, protesting, or convening for any reason other than partying, so any ‘amendment’ thing is baloney. They need to go home, and party, or drum, or eat their FM food somewhere else. So disrespectful to everyone….


Frank Gormlie August 6, 2020 at 4:13 pm

Maybe for them, it’s “the end-of-times” and nothing matters. Or maybe they’re just “over” the pandemic. Or maybe it’s just old people who are dying. Or maybe ‘I’m young and invincible.’ Or maybe, like the gentleman quoted in the article, the pandemic is just not realistic. Or worse, it’s just a hoax.


Frank J August 6, 2020 at 4:20 pm

One more, a few may be Fox viewers


Chris August 6, 2020 at 4:27 pm

As I mentioned in another thread, there are some mid 20 to early thirty somethings in my building at work who have this attitude of “who cares if some Boomers croak”? There are no shortage of people in that age group who think that way. They assume if they get it they’ll be just fine but the scary and appealing part is they’re ok with oder generations not surviving this. Scary times for sure.


retired botanist August 6, 2020 at 5:11 pm

I’m sure that’s a real subset, Chris, and yet, my daughter who is (forced now, and at 1/2 her previous income) to resume her job in service industry in NorCal, tells me constantly about Boomers who come in and rage (at her) against things like not being able to push tables together, having to wait for a (with at least a50% reduction) table, aren’t wearing masks, complain about plastic cutlery- you name it, they’re complaining about it. She’d like to be able to say “Well, why don’t you just stay home and keep us all safe?” but of course she can’t, as they are poor tippers even on a good day. And when she tells them these are state-mandated practices and not her choice, they don’t care. One Boomer complained to her that the ice “wasn’t cold enough”… she sighed, seeing no point in explaining the laws of thermodynamics.
I’m appalled at the entitlement of my own generation but, tbh, this sort of bad behavior and lack of respect for fellow humankind seems to transcend age groups. When the going gets tough, people get ugly. So disappointing….


Chris August 6, 2020 at 6:14 pm

Oh I’m not saying ALL or even most younger people in that age group think that way. And I know plenty of people my age (58) and older who have no regard for the Millennial generation. Some of them get this morbid amusement out of mocking and belittling them for college tuition debt, the fact they may never own a home, never be financially secure, you name it. It’s scary they have young adult children. In all, a vicious catch 22. Sad but in some ways funny because neither side will listen to the other.


Geoff Page August 6, 2020 at 5:22 pm

retired, the label Boomers encompasses a vast group of people but the only thing they have in common is when they were born. Perpetuating this Boomer stereotype is ridiculous. We do not all act alike. I’m a Boomer and I don’t behave like that, what your daughter is experiencing is impolite people who come in all ages. And, where are the stories of the good ones? The bad ones stand out, the well-behaved people don’t get any recognition. This Boomer word has become such a blatant pejorative that it makes me see red. You cannot judge a person by their birth date.


Chris August 6, 2020 at 7:12 pm

I think people in all generations needs to chill a bit and realize exactly what you said (about judging people based on their birth date) but at the same time we all need to take the insults with a grain of salt.


unwashedWalmartThong August 6, 2020 at 9:46 pm

Who raised Geoff? Pretty good head on his shoulders, & I think I like him more each time I read his quiet typing.
Speaking of generalities, here’s one for me: misanthropic

We’re doomed.

Regarding the crap Dr C has spewed about the height limit & the STVRs, let me know when the committees meet to oppose the crap; I’ll send an avatar or surrogate, not sure which.


Frank Gormlie August 7, 2020 at 11:07 am

That image is still in me head: the one of you swimming in jello on schrooms with a storm and tornado raging outside. I think it’s pretty good image of where we’re at. What flavor is your jello?


unwashedWalmarThong August 9, 2020 at 12:52 pm

Quote from a non-jenious:
“These are strange times, indeed. It’s almost like swimming through jell-o while doing ‘shrooms under a black light during a full moon while a thunder storm pounds through clouds above.”

So for the Jell-o, let’s say for the spirit of the past it ought to be orange sunshine mixed with metal flake and Led Zep’s “When the Levee Breaks.”


thequeenisalizard August 7, 2020 at 10:39 am

The simple answer without any physiologically mumbo jumbo is Americans are stupid and selfish.


Geoff Page August 7, 2020 at 11:58 am

I think you should qualify that statement to say that “some” Americans are stupid, surely you did not mean us all.


Chris August 7, 2020 at 3:00 pm

You’re right. Many are. Also many are not. Also, many people from other countries are also selfish and stupid and just as many are not.


Frank Gormlie August 7, 2020 at 11:05 am

Reports are that the crowd had broken up by 11 pm, but no citations for violating health orders were handed out.


sealintheSelkirks August 9, 2020 at 3:11 am

If anybody is interested this is EXACTLY what went on during the Pandemic of 1918-1920. Same crap from ignorant trending to stupid US citizens who don’t know or care about science facts. Look it up if you don’t believe me! There are stories that read like current events from a hundred years ago.

Read about Spanish Influenza parties, that wearing masks is taking away our liberty and freedumb, We’re americans and the government can’t do this, people loudly proclaiming their god is going to protect them and only sinners (of whatever other groups) will get sick, churches staying open against gov regulations, fights started by people who didn’t like others wearing masks, rage and ignorance and stupidity and racism and on and on it went.

Same as their g-g-g-goddam grandparents! It boggles the mind!

Back to that Talking Heads song I guess. Same as it ever was.

Up here to. I got into an argument with a stupid at the post office Friday. Three people in line all in masks, and the young USPS lady behind the shield was in a mask talking to this bozo mid-40s woman was in front of her. I was talking with one woman I knew about how this is the same crap of 1918 (as I wrote above) and this woman turned on me loudly snarling that she’s got breathing problems so shut the f*ck up. Sure didn’t have any that I could tell with her mouth going as loudly spewing spit in all directions. No O2 tank, quite loud and energetic and certainly doesn’t act like she has “breathing problems.” I quietly (amazing for me) mentioned that I have friends with COPD and go everywhere with O2 on wheels, and if she’s got breathing problems she should be wearing a mask because it’s a LUNG DISEASE that will kill her…and out comes the freedumb crap and it’s all a hoax bullsh*t instead. I replied that I know TWO people that have died now, one a 39 yr old fellow firefighter woman of my oldest stepdaughter, and she stomped out of the building. There are five people now confirmed with Covid in that tiny town of 300 people…and it’s full of stupids like her.

I was thanked by those that were there.

Hey, there are going to be some really cheap Harley’s for sale soon. There’s 250,000 bikers in Sturgis right now partying drinking dancing eating and damned near none of them are wearing masks nor practicing PHYSICAL distancing. A country-wide Superspreader event far worse than Trump’s killer Tulsa Rally that only killed practically the only black millionaire who gave money to Trump… Can’t make this crap up, folks!

250,000 motorcyclists flock to South Dakota because superspreader events are so much fun


And here is one for everybody to read that will BLOW all your minds. READ THIS:

An Anti-Mask “Agency” Told A Grocery Store Worker She Could Be Sued For Asking People To Wear Masks
In a now-viral TikTok, members of the “Freedom To Breathe Agency,” which the Department of Justice has issued a warning about, were seen telling the store employee she could face legal action for asking customers to wear masks.




triggerfinger August 10, 2020 at 2:24 pm

I think this terrible idea of using social pressure will haunt us well beyond this pandemic. Engaging with people this way only spreads animosity, it accomplishes nothing else. You emboldened her beliefs that you are a sheep, and got others that already agreed with you to cheer you on. Maybe next time they’ll drill into someone and spread even more animosity.

Apply the same thinking to someone with a service animal but without an apparent disability… There’s an impossibility there which the post office clerk is presented with. Are you going to be the hero and lay into someone who you perceive to not meet the exception, when they have absolutely no obligation to elaborate on their medical status?

I don’t know what the answer is, but this approach isn’t it. All I can say is if you someone fails to meet your standard of containment, keep your distance.


Geoff Page August 11, 2020 at 8:33 am

Well said, trigger.


sealintheSelkirks August 11, 2020 at 9:31 pm

I wrote a reply below but obviously forgot to hit the reply tab since it didn’t load underneath your reply. Noticed you didn’t reply to that so maybe you missed it. Then Geoff says well said? Figures.

To correct your skewed impressions apparent in your reply I continue with this:

1. Social pressure will haunt us after this Pandemic goes away… Have you ever actually read any history about the 1918 Influenza Pandemic and what it left, all messed up humans, right through the 1920s? Or perhaps you might read about ‘Typhoid Mary’ who was an actual person, and what that Irishwoman did to so many families? Social pressure to keep people from dying of this crap is the LEAST of what may be coming. How about a ‘don’t leave your home’ lockdown after a few million dead? Both horrifies me how about you?

2. Convince her I’m a ‘sheep?’ Nice term, dude. Listen to Trump the wealthy Frat boy much? That’s a right wing code word I do believe. Actually I’m a university-educated old surfer after being a high-school dropout for 16 years after running my own business, who has a degree with “and Sciences’ across the bottom of it, and has continued to run my own businesses for most of my life afterward. And I happen to live next to a seriously intelligent 77yr old ex-US Army special weapons infectious disease-virologist/lab rat biologist and guess what the Army had him working on in Germany during Viet Nam? Mutated influenza virus’ to kill off the Soviet Union with. But I’m sure you don’t want to hear what he’s saying about people like that ignorant woman at the tiny rural post office. Ummm, you ever been around sheep much? I spent a few years as a caretaker of a 195 acre farm while in school; around sheep, steers, pigs, and chickens. The comparison is more apt used as human sheep that listen to Alex Jones and watch Fox and think Trump was made president by their gods…and that Wbush actually DID hear god telling him to invade Iraq as he so publicly reported.

3. Got others to cheer me on? Are you kidding? People are flat scared to say anything with the violence being perpetrated by the right wing militias and their sycophants. They only said something AFTER she left because her violent outburst scared them. I was on my own…but you’re right that you can’t talk science with someone that has no educational background or critical thinking skills to understand what the hell you are saying. They just can’t understand the terminology, no basis for it. So I guess I should just shut up and LET PEOPLE DIE because of people like her? I care about others more than that.

4. Apply the same thinking to someone with a service animal? Where the hell did that come from? This woman did NOT have a service animal, and any ‘breathing problems’ she claimed were bogus because I know people with serious disabilities (COPD, bad Asthma, etc) and she as much admitted it with her forceful and very loud in your face rant about ‘a hoax’ and ‘it will go away like magic any time now’ and ‘it’s a plot to steal the election.’ Notice those sheep talking points straight out of the Trump playbook?

5. And as I said about that ‘hero’ crap below, been there done that and have scars from saving a few lives. Both physical and emotional. But it was part of the requirement and promise, to protect those that cannot protect themselves from violence, that I agreed to decades ago in my early training. It was called the ‘Kenpo Creed’ back then but I don’t know if that hasn’t been forgotten in favor of trophies and ego and cage fighting over the years. There’s been a lot of changes in this society since the 80s and not many were actually good changes…rather the opposite from my point of view.

5. Keep your distance? You CAN’T do that in a Pandemic and the quicker you realize that the better off you might be. It’s AIRBORNE, micro-droplets that float in the breeze that land on your face and arms and clothing unseen. When I went home I stripped on the porch completely, then straight to a shower to de-contaminate by soap and hot water. For all I know she was asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic, and the spit she spread around that tiny post office room landed on all of us in there.

6. You don’t know what the answer is. I’ll buy that, but realize that the right wing is extremely confrontational, authoritarians and neo-Fascists generally always have been, hence the AR15s showing up and all the 3% militia crap and the murder by racist violent cops show that. You don’t reach ‘a consensus’ with these people, they try to run over you with a bulldozer because they don’t want consensus they want to ‘win.’ Ask anybody who has slave ancestors about that. You either back them up or they stomp you. And with an invisible disease running absolutely rampant through this country…I don’t trust luck much. But then I have a science background and cannot pretend ignorance. My bad luck I guess.



Geoff Page August 12, 2020 at 9:18 am

After rereading about your encounter, it sounded like the lady came after you. Now, maybe it was because you egged her on with a comment to someone else, designed for her ears. If that was the case, that was cowardly. If it wasn’t the case and she attacked you for what you said to someone else, then you had every right to return fire. Which was it seal?


sealintheSelkirks August 12, 2020 at 11:37 am

Geoff, here’s the whole story.

When I walked in I had to stop in the doorway due to the 6 ft mandatory physical distancing requirement. Very very small room. I was fourth in line. The frail elderly local woman (mid-70s?) that I knew was third, and she started the conversation about the lack of mask wearing she was seeing. Her doctor specifically told her to wear a mask, don’t mess with this virus as she does have breathing/lung problems, and she was dang worried about being exposed because of so many people around here calling it a ‘Hoax.’ State-mandated mask wearing in public places in this state, and I see signs across the windows of pick-up trucks saying in large letters F*CK INSLEE our Dem governor.

The woman that turned on our conversation was first in line and bending over talking with the masked young woman behind the plastic shield at the counter, writing something I guess, and her back was to us so I had no idea she was not wearing a mask as I couldn’t see her face. The older man 2nd in line had a mask on.

I explicitly did NOT start the argument. I was quietly talking with the local Springdale lady (she and I were food bank volunteer delivery people back a few years and I still deliver to a couple of families each week), and she literally recoiled from this spit-spewing angry woman when she stood up and took a couple of very aggressive steps towards us away from the counter. Scared the hell out of the older woman, that was obvious. I reacted, 40 years of martial arts training tends to do that, by taking a step forward sideways and putting myself between the women. Automatic motion. The spit was literally visible flying out of that woman’s mouth as she verbally attacked us. And it was us she attacked, Geoff, not just me.

After she stomped out the man was standing there shaking his head, the woman behind the counter’s eyes were large on her face, and the little old woman was…scared. I apologized to all three of them and they all said it was okay, they didn’t hold me at fault. The counter woman said she gets this all day, too many refusing to wear mask and she’s afraid to tell them to leave. She also said that they all repeat the ‘have breathing problems’ to get away with it. She also mentioned that she is starting to see those stupid cards with the pilfered US Justice Dept Eagle symbol on them to show they don’t have to wear a mask. You did follow my link on that from another posting? The link again with the picture of the card:


So that’s the entire story. Pretty much sucks to have to deal with but I’ve been stabbed stopping violence, punched kicked bitten scratched, but I take that Kenpo Creed vow/promise to defend those that can’t pretty seriously even being nearly 40 years since I took it at UKF of OB in 1982. And a majority of the time I’ve stepped in just words have sufficed to defuse the situation. I ran concert security crews/worked as a troubleshooter/rover, at the big 3-day outdoor concerts in NorCal for years and most of the time I could talk people down not have to take them down. I do not go looking for fights. Hell, I’m 5’8 1/2″! That, by the way, is going to be my next book. ‘Tales of a Concert Security Rover’ or something like that. Now that Massacre Sites is done I’ve already started scribbling down stories…



Geoff Page August 12, 2020 at 12:24 pm

Ok, seal, I think those details will alter the reaction you got in The Rag. Perhaps you should have led with that.


triggerfinger August 12, 2020 at 9:22 am

Your intentions are good, I just don’t see how it translates to anything good based on your approach to her or what you replied to me with..

If your goal is to influence people’s behavior for the better, try using a feather, not a 2×4 with nails in it. Certainly you’re not obligated to do that, but they’re not obligated to listen to you either.


triggerfinger August 12, 2020 at 9:31 am

Our political divisions are beginning to resemble the Palestinians vs the Jews. Where does it end? Are we going to start killing each other to “win”? How do we turn it around? Surely not by taking this approach. Don’t give up on finding common ground. Don’t assume anyone that sees the world differently than you is the stereotype you see on the 24/7 news cycle. Most people are not that extreme in their beliefs or actions, but may appear that way if you put them into a corner.

Also I don’t think you’re a sheep, but I bet the lady at the post office does after your exchange. She probably went home and told her friends about this crazy lib accosting her at the post office, and will reinforce whatever preconceived notions she had.


sealintheSelkirks August 10, 2020 at 11:55 am

unwashedWalmarThong, I’d have to disagree with you because of this article (and past experience!). Coming from this site…surprise! Enjoy the read!


What magic mushrooms do to your body and brain


There’s evidence that tripping on magic mushrooms could actually free the mind.


sealintheSelkirks August 10, 2020 at 4:30 pm

triggerfinger: Did you not read the second paragraph before getting upset with the third? And did you then look the facts up about the behavior of the ‘exceptional’ americans during the 1918 Pandemic before you replied? Eye-opener.You should.

50-100,000,000 people died in two years out of an estimated worldwide population of 1.2 billion. And there was no way anybody had the real numbers, people just quietly buried their dead relatives and continued looking for food to feed their families.

Extrapolate those two numbers with our current world population of nearly 8 billion and think about that number. And the 2nd Wave is on our horizon following the same pattern as the last one which was MUCH more deadly than the 1st.

This woman walked into a rural Post Office spewing her spit all around in a closed, very tiny room with NO thought to the safety of others. My freaking front room & music room has more floor space than the window-counter area! Impossible to separate more than two people 6 feet apart, and that puts the second against a wall or the door. And we know for a FACT that normal human breath micro-droplets can contain tens of thousands of virus particles in that kind of environment literally suspended and floating in the air due to the extreme tiny lightness of the droplets. You can walk right into a cloud of it, and bluntly put, there has been confirmed transmission by eye to a doctor who worked on Ebola.

What this woman chose to do was DIRECTLY endangering my life and/or health and those in line with me along with the young woman working behind the counter. Two of us were over 60. Closed environments are a serious hazard, dude, look it up. It’s why there has been nearly 100,000 infections of school kids in two weeks of schools opening.

As far as anybody could tell, she walked into that building with an invisible LIT stick of dynamite. Being polite is not on the program.

If intelligent understanding of what the science is telling us doesn’t work, and it is freaking obvious it is not with an absolutely ignorant Frat boy moron running the country; if the nebulous term ‘social pressure’ doesn’t work, obviously not with people who have problems with cognitive dissonance over facts vs myths combined with an extreme lack of any critical thinking skills, then there seems to be not much left to use to literally protect one’s health but get in their face before a government edict that bans them from any public space. Oh wait, there already are bans in place and what do they do? Oh, I have a breathing problem so I don’t have to. Sounds like a 6 year old. She didn’t have a ‘breathing problem,’ it was a lie. Her statements about it’s a hoax etc etc proved that.

How’s that concept grab ya? Martial law, totalitarian police state, whatever you want to call it is coming in this country if it stays business as usual. Or more millions sick and/or dead. Think about how do you get rid of the bodies of a million people, five million people, however many that’ll die if we DON’T get this under control like New Zealand has done? No new infections in the last 100 days but then again they have a woman Prime Minister with a brain and gumption and not Trump.

Be a hero? That is such a ridiculous question that it begs your critical thinking skills. It’s self defense, and I’ve taught that since the late 1980s based on the years spent in UKF of OB and other martial arts systems I’ve been in. I’ve been a ‘hero’ and saved lives. It’s freaking scary when it’s happening, and you get the shakes afterward, and you can get stabbed with a screwdriver trying to stop bad things happening no matter how good you are. That the reality. Better a screwdriver again than a deadly virus you can’t see or fix.

You go read some history about the Pandemic in 1918 and focus on the crap that the so-called citizens in this country did, then you can get back to me and we’ll discuss it some more. Citizens should care about one another, watch out for one another, and this country is definitely lacking in citizenship.



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