Youths on e-bikes set off fireworks on Hermosa Beach Pier, police say

Youths riding e-bikes unleashed mayhem on the Hermosa Beach Pier on Saturday evening as they set off fireworks on unsuspecting crowds walking through the area.

The youths ignited the fireworks just after 8:30 p.m., and the first calls to police told of loud explosions, according to emergency dispatch reports. The Hermosa Beach Police Department determined that a group of youths caused the commotion by volleying fireworks into Pier Plaza. The group fled the area on e-bikes, the department told KNBC-TV; two boys were taken into custody but later cleared, the city said in a social media post Monday.

A third juvenile was identified through videos taken of the incident, according to authorities. The suspect is not a resident of Hermosa Beach, but lives in the South Bay. Authorities are working with Los Angeles County Juvenile Probation and the suspect's family to make sure they face "appropriate consequences for this dangerous incident," the city's statement said.

A firework exploded several yards away from witness John Fahmy as he was walking his bicycle through the Pier Plaza. He captured the large explosion on his bicycle's camera and felt the debris hit the back of his head as he walked away from the blast.

"I saw a little girl run right past me after the firework exploded. My ears were ringing and my heart was racing," Fahmy told The Times. "She must have been right near it when it went off, because I can't imagine being any closer to the firework than I was and not getting hurt."

Fahmy described the suspects as adolescents, between the ages of 12 and 16. In total, he heard about four or five loud explosions that evening.

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Before he entered the plaza, Fahmy said, he saw bright lights illuminating the pier. "I didn't know it was a firework and just saw the bright colors," he said. "They were going off near the restaurants where people walk and congregate."

The city recently tightened its rules on the use of e-bikes because of safety concerns. Riders cannot use the electric motors while riding in certain areas, and riders under 18 are required to wear helmets, according to an ordinance adopted June 4. Underage riders found violating the rules could have their e-bikes impounded, and a parent or guardian would be on the hook for any impound fees.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.