City council reveals it never hired the promised officers to protect Marines from juveniles

Screenshot from a cellphone video showing the fight

Update: Last year, the city of San Clemente announced it was going to hire four more Sherrif’s deputies to protect the beaches after three Marines were attacked.

But during last night’s meeting, they revealed their approved budget still falls short of the funding needed to hire them.

“In the past, we looked for four additional deputies,” a city council member said. “We only have two. This budget funds the four correct?”

The meeting revealed the contract states four officers could be hired but the budget only allows for two and zero have been hired.

Despite knowing the contract was underfunded, the council approved next year’s budget unanimously without any public comment.

June 2023 -The city of San Clemente announced changes to make their beaches safer after three Marines were attacked by a crowd of teenagers last month.

The rise in criminal activity has prompted the city to hire four new Orange County Sheriff’s deputies and enforce a curfew at the beach.

“It’s dangerous late at night. We don’t have lifeguards there. There’s a lot of illegal activity going on late at night, so it helps us enforce all of that if we close our beach a little earlier at 10 instead of midnight,” said Mayor Chris Duncan.

Last month, five juveniles were arrested in connection with the assault of three Marines near the San Clemente Pier.

The Marines claim the fight started when they asked the group of teens to stop lighting fireworks.

Video captured of the incident showed one of the Marines walking away from the crowd until one of them was punched.

It also showed two of the Marines on the ground trying to protect themselves from getting punched and kicked by the crowd of juveniles.

“These deputies are going to be focused right here, right in our beach areas. Allow the other deputies to handle the things in the rest of town, and they’ll be able to stay here in our beach areas to enforce things like the beach closure,” said Duncan.

San Clemente is about a twenty-minute drive north of the Camp Pendleton Marine base.

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