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Power of social media: Huntington Beach Tik Tok pop-up party gets out of hand fast

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Police in Huntington Beach, Calif., were forced to break up a beach party that had grown wild and “unruly” after word spread on social media.

The party, which was organized via TikTok, according to various reports, grew so large and intense that Huntington Beach Police were forced to declare it an unlawful assembly.

Officers utilized less-than-lethal weapons to disperse a crowd in the hundreds after a video to attend a birthday party that was named “Adrian’s kickback” on the beach Saturday night went viral.

Posted to a TikTok page called adrian.lopez517, the video included a caption that noted: “pop out n celebrate my bday.” The beach, and the city, are located about 36 miles south of Los Angeles.

People began to gather around 6:30 p.m. for the party, which was scheduled to kick off an hour later, various reports noted.

But as the evening wore on and news of the party spread via social media, more and more people showed up, and eventually, things got out of hand, as several videos posted to Twitter and other social media noted.

Unlawful assembly has been declared in #HuntingtonBeach due to unruly crowds. An emergency curfew has been put into place effective 5/22 at 11:30pm through 5/23 at 5:30am for all individuals within the downtown area,” said a tweet from the Huntington P.D.

A massive firework can be seen exploding as people in the vicinity ran to protect themselves.

Another clip showed police arriving, partially decked out in riot gear, and what appears to be a young man leaping off a bridge into a crowd below that numbers well into the hundreds.

Another video taken from a vantage point about one story above a major thoroughfare near the beach showed a crowd of people easily surpassing a few hundred.

Another social media user claimed there were “at least thousands” of people who showed up for the party.

In another video, a line of police officers are seen deploying less-than-lethal weapons to push crowds back. The video appears to show a one-block buffer zone that officers established between the beach and businesses.

Someone dressed in a Spider-Man outfit also showed up.

Another video appears to show a car squealing its tires before plowing into a crowd of people; thumps can be heard indicating the vehicle may have struck some people. Also, the same video shows some girls who appear to be fighting.

Previously, the Huntington P.D. had warned that the department prohibited alcohol or drug use on the beach, adding that fireworks were also prohibited. The department also said it was “taking significant steps to prepare for the potential influx of visitors, including working closely with our regional public safety partners” after learning of the event by monitoring social media.

“Toward that end, the HBPD will also be strictly enforcing all applicable laws & ordinances throughout the weekend,” said the department.

Additional video featured in a KABC-TV report showed someone setting off a firework in the street, as well as windows in a police vehicle that had been shattered.

One report said at least one person was arrested but did not provide any details.

Jon Dougherty

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