Fight Over Ocean Beach Firepit Results in Broken Jaw

by on June 21, 2021 · 12 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Lauren Coronado / SanDiego7 / June 20, 2021

San Diego police are investigating a violent attack that happened in Ocean Beach. A pair of local college students told NBC 7 that an argument over a fire pit spiraled out of control. One of the students captured the tail-end of the fight on video as a last-minute attempt to identify the accused aggressors.

“I got your (expletive) faces!” The person who took the video could be heard yelling in the background. The accused aggressors were captured lunging at the camera and yelling expletives to the young man who was recording.

Before the day turned violent, Kobe La and his girlfriend, Kristina Castillo, said their trip to Ocean Beach on June 15 started like any other. “Grill some hamburgers, hot dogs, we had some music going,” said Castillo.

Born and raised in San Diego County, the two said they often visit near tower five at Ocean Beach. Castillo said they set up camp near a fire pit, where an unattended, broken chair was placed a few feet from a trashcan. She said they waited to see if it belonged to anyone before they claimed the fire pit.

“From 12 p.m. all the way to 7 p.m. no one came to claim it, so we decided to set up closer,” said Castillo. Shortly after, she said they were confronted by a man, that she described as “aggressive.” “He was saying this is his fire pit and his beach,” explained Castillo.

She said one of her friends tried to reason with the man, but he only became more agitated.

“So the guy starts putting his shoulders out, his hands, up and like, ‘You wanna go? You wanna go?’ He throws his shirt off and starts pounding his chest,” explained Castillo.

Then Castillo said the man, who identified himself as a 35-year-old local, threatened the group of students. “Wait ‘til it gets dark. I’ll get you and he started cussing a lot.”

She said two hours later, the man came back with two other men and two women, but this time it turned physical. La said his friend was punched, so he ran over to try and deescalate the situation.

“As soon as I put a hand in, I got hit in the face; I was hit more than one time that night and other people were hit with chairs and other things. It could’ve been much worse. I could definitely see myself not being here,” said La.

Castillo said she called the police and the group ran back to their car in the parking lot and drove off.

“I distinctly remember hearing them say like, ‘If you guys are here any later, we’re going to shoot all of you’. That’s the last thing I heard from them,” said La.

La said he didn’t realize how badly he was injured until he woke up the following morning and saw that his jaw shifted. He said his jaw was fractured in two places and he underwent a 3-hour surgery.

“I have two fractures in my jaw at the moment. One right here and one right down the middle,” said La.

He also explained that he can’t open his mouth, he’s on a liquid diet and is out of work until he heals. Castillo said about 4 other friends were also injured. One of the accused aggressors could be seen on video with blood on his face. It’s not clear how he was injured or the extent of his injury.

SDPD told NBC 7 that they are investigating the incident as a battery case and that details could not be shared about the case until Monday when a Public Information Officer or detective on the case returns to work.

NBC 7 blurred the faces of the accused aggressors captured in the video because police haven’t confirmed that they are looking at them as suspects.

La said through help on social media, he and his friends have been able to identify three of the five people who were involved in the incident. They’re still trying to identify the other two.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie June 21, 2021 at 1:03 pm

Some are calling this a hate crime against mainly an Asian-American group of college students and friend. This is very serious and troubling. A hate crime right here in OB? It’s happened before. Let’s help the victims find these OB haters. https://news.yahoo.com/asian-students-attacked-35-old-185725706.html

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Avatar kh June 21, 2021 at 2:03 pm

I agree it’s serious and troubling that people are so eager to label things a hate crime. It’s an insult to those who are the victims of hate crimes. I noticed most of the news publications refrained from going there.

Someone from OB fighting someone not from OB and saying they’re “not a local and does not belong here” does not constitute a hate crime, unless more facts come to light. But it’s definitely ugly localism and I’ve been on the receiving end of it.

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie June 21, 2021 at 6:22 pm

At least you were looking. I also noticed that. And it’s a 2-sided thing. Are local media holding off with reasonable discretion or are they avoiding the deeper story?

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Avatar Chris June 21, 2021 at 4:04 pm

Sadly it’s not that uncommon in OB. I’ve witnessed it more than a few times. I’ve even seen it here in Hillcrest. Like kh said I think it’s too soon to label it a crime in this case.

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Avatar Terrie Leigh Relf June 21, 2021 at 8:22 pm

I am so disturbed about this . . . I hope that the “alleged” perpetrators are identified and brought in for questioning. I want to send my heartfelt empathy to the young people who experienced this . . . This is NOT the way OB is at its heart. I seriously believe that these could also be “outsiders” with “issues,” but I don’t know. Perhaps someone know them and could step forward? While I didn’t absolutely recognize the individuals who appear to be the alleged perpetrators, they do look familiar. While I rarely provide feedback when I see postings on Nextdoor due to so much “backlash,” they both looked familiar . . .

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Avatar Sam June 21, 2021 at 8:26 pm

Those two people in the Yahoo photo look like they could be rounded up on Bacon at Newport.

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Avatar Batmen June 22, 2021 at 9:40 am

They used racial expletives, they picked on the 1 friend who was black and called him the “N” word. While it may not have been racially motivated and therefore a “Hate” crime, nonetheless these 3 guys and 2 girls are RACIST ASSHOLES who belong in jail. Where is the video? Anyone know? I’ll blow up the photo and print them for posters. My kids do bonfires here. It’s THESE racist assholes who don’t belong in OB. Let’s get these violent bullies off the street.

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Avatar Zarina June 23, 2021 at 10:26 am

Here is the gofundme to support Kobe’s emergency surgery as a result of this attack! https://gofund.me/b4bfdef4

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie June 23, 2021 at 10:50 am

Thank you!

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie June 23, 2021 at 11:05 am

Kristina Castillo – GF of victim, told 10News she believed because she and her friends are young and all minorities, they were a target. In the video, you could hear a woman call someone “a yellow b—-.”

Castillo said someone from that group also yelled another racial slur. “They definitely said the N-word to one of our friends,” she said. “He’s African American and Filipino and his outward appearance, he looks dark [and] has big hair.”
https://www.10news.com/news/local-news/young-man-injured-in-violent-attack-over-ocean-beach-fire-pit

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie June 23, 2021 at 11:06 am

SDPD spokesperson stated:: “We are aware of the concerns circulating on social media. SDPD takes all hate crime accusations seriously. We are conducting a thorough investigation into the events that transpired. We are asking that anyone who has information or witnessed the attack to step forward. Call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477 or the SDPD non-emergency line at (619) 531-2000.”

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie June 30, 2021 at 11:36 am

SDPD Investigating Potential Racial Slur Used During Attack in Ocean Beach — https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/sdpd-review-potential-charges-in-ob-attack-no-arrests-made-yet/2640257/

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