The author, surfing O.B. Jetty
  • The author, surfing O.B. Jetty
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On March 17, at the Ocean Beach Jetty, I had just caught a wave that nobody else was close to catching. After my ride, I paddled back to the lineup and another surfer told me, "That's it...you're done catchin' waves here in O.B." I asked him, "What's your problem? And, anyways, these waves don't have your name written on them." He replied, "I'm a local here, and me and buddies will see to that." I told him that I didn't give a damn if he was a local or not, and if he had a problem with me catching waves we could handle it right there, with or without his buddies.

So, I started to paddle for a wave and he began trying to cut me off. At that point, I got off my board in about waist- to chest-high water to confront him (the waves weren't big). He got off his board and held it, saying he would stick me in the eye with it. He began to make the first move, and I punched him in the face. That stopped him from going any further. He said, "Let's take it the beach." I said, "That's fine."

I gradually made my way back to shore. I saw him walk up to a lady on Dogs' Beach and begin using her cell phone. I learned later that he had called up some buddies and the police.

I didn't confront him when I got out of the water. Instead, I made my way back to the parking lot, where I had seen another surfer and a few other guys from the lineup. I asked them if they knew who the guy was. One of them said, "Yeah, he's a local."

As I began walking to my car, the instigator began taunting me and telling me not to leave. I told him I wasn't leaving, that I was just going to change out of my wetsuit. I figured that the police might be on their way.

Once I got to my car, I called the police to let them know that I had been in an altercation with another surfer in the water. As I was on the phone, they arrived. I explained to them in detail what had happened and that there were witnesses. Another surfer that had seen the incident walked toward me and the officers and told the officers that I hadn't done anything wrong. So they questioned him alone to see if what I had said was true. (In their interview, they learned that racial slurs had been used while I was out of earshot -- I'm African-American.)

Once they verified that all the information was true, they went back and talked to the instigator.

Afterward, the police officers told me of the racial slurs that had been used, and so the incident would be classified as a hate crime. The officers didn't cite me for punching the guy because I was the victim of a hate crime. I didn't see the officers cite the instigator. They said a detective would follow up on the case, but I've yet to be contacted.

The police said I should be the bigger man and maybe find another place to surf, but I said that if did that then that would leave the wrong impression. I stated that this is a public beach and we all have the right to enjoy the outdoors free from territorial predators. I decided to zip up my wetsuit and paddle back out because the waves had gotten better.

Just to let other surfers know, in the water I usually give up more waves to others just to earn respect. Surfing shouldn't result in physical altercations that leave others talking smack, bloodied and bruised. I'd rather hit the other lip, if you know what I mean.


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Comments

JasonfreakinBang April 3, 2009 @ 2:28 p.m.

Props for taking on that coward. Cowards always feel brave when they have their buddies nearby or when they have a weapon.

Then he ran and cried to the police for what HE started - priceless!

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ngk79 April 3, 2009 @ 2:50 p.m.

You handled it well. I could have gotten a lot worse. I've surfed OB (as a non-local) a few times and haven't had problems there. While a decent break, it's nothing that is usually fighting for. It was probably more of a racial issue than claiming territory.

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sandybeach April 3, 2009 @ 4:32 p.m.

Your mother would be proud of you, as I am. You did the right thing. Sadly, SD is not as liberal and open minded as other parts of the state. Seeing African American people in OB, is a challenge to the uneducated mind. Know you are smarter than that. Bullying you or anyone out of the surf should cost him a year of being able to surf any where. Although the officer is probably busy with serious crimes like attempted child kidnappings, and shootings, follow through on the investigation. He needs to wake-up and get a real life.

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x_acto April 3, 2009 @ 6:40 p.m.

I'm sure that the officer didn't even bother dealing with your crap. And why should he. you got off easy. You took a free chance to physically assault someone and luckily one of them said the "N" word out loud. They got a slap on the hand and you got to punch someone. Sounds to me like you two are even.

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SurfPuppy619 April 3, 2009 @ 9:36 p.m.

Then he ran and cried to the police for what HE started - priceless!

By JasonfreakinBang

This happens ALL THE TIME.

Some wannabe tough guy talks the talk but folds like a laudry when the chips are down-and then after getting kncoked out THEY call the cops after THEY started it.

It just cracks me up. Wannabes acting all tough until the chips are down and they get spanked, then THEY call the cops like the little wussies thay are.

I have seen this behaviour in gang bangers alot.

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SurfPuppy619 April 3, 2009 @ 9:37 p.m.

I'm sure that the officer didn't even bother dealing with your crap. And why should he. you got off easy.

By x_acto 6:40 p.m.

LOL... I would say the dork that got knocked silly got off easy- with his teeth no less.

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bjlstar84 April 3, 2009 @ 10:03 p.m.

As a man of african-american descent, that was born and raised in O.B., the behavior exhibited is typical of the idiots/punks that claim to be locals. Real people from O.B. love everyone and do not act in such an asinine manner. This sounds like an idiot who claims to be a skin head, is unable to do anything without his boys and has no heart at all. Right on to the real and death to the fakers. Once a Pointer, always a Pointer!

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shizzyfinn April 3, 2009 @ 10:53 p.m.

I join in saluting the author's courage, shown in the face of the bully, and again in response to the suggestion that the bully get his way. At some point, someone has to stand up to that type of toxic behavior if the behavior is to stop.

I do hope the police follow through on the case.

And, by the way, thanks to the author for a great piece of reporting. This article is gripping from the start, and takes readers inside a real-life run-in with one of the surf hooligans we usually only hear about in vague rumors.

Nicely done, both at the Jetty and on the keyboard.

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rawbe April 4, 2009 @ 7:45 a.m.

No matter how thin you slice it there are always two sides to the story.

BTW that wasn't a hate crime, that altercation was about surfing, not you race, color or creed. Just because the guy is distasteful enough to drop a N-Bomb does not mean that it was a hate crime.

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thebug April 4, 2009 @ 8:44 a.m.

I'm surprised you got away with the punch.I don't believe a hate crime is committed if its based on a racial slur that you were not even aware of.Sorry but I believe you left something out of the story.It doesn't add up.As Judge Judy says "If a story doesn't make sense it probably isn't true"

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SurfPuppy619 April 4, 2009 @ 9:14 a.m.

By rawbe 7:45 a.m. = By thebug 8:44 a.m = SAME PERSON... if you just register mutliple accounts you have to wait at least a few days to not get busted.

BTW, for all you little Perry Masons posting here-if you use a slur-any kind of slur-that derides a person on race, ethnicity, gender, creed or relegion-it is a hate crime. It is that simple.

Hope this helps.

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surf2day April 4, 2009 @ 9:58 a.m.

Way to stand up to thoes 'locals'. I was born and raised here but have had to deal with it my whole life.If I only had a nickel for every time someone that moved here from the midwest told me to 'go back to the valley.' It has gotten a lot better with the times and I think you should surf there more.

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thebug April 4, 2009 @ 11:11 a.m.

Surf puppy,So your saying you believe that the simple use of the N-word is a hate crime?Am I commiting a hate crime by ordering the Polish Dog at Costco?Or the Irish stew at the Blarneystone pub?My friend and I plan on playing Indian Poker can we count on getting raided?Will the Bums at the OB pier rat me out if they see me playing a couple of hans of Gin Rummy?Will Native Americans have the Arrowhead water guy arrested?Oh you were wrong about me being " rawbe" also, Sherlock

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JustWondering April 4, 2009 @ 1:44 p.m.

..."if you just register mutliple accounts you have to wait at least a few days to not get busted."

Right JohnnyVegs, BillyBob Henry aka Surfpuppy619.... too bad you don't follow your own advice.

and btw hate crimes are: a criminal offense committed against a person, property, or society which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin.

The FBI defines a hate crime (a.k.a. bias crime) to be:

"a criminal offense committed against a person, property or society which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin." 2

Public Law #103-322A, a 1994 federal law, defines a hate crime as:

"a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim, or in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person."

"Hate Speech" is unsettled and rightfully so due to conflict with the first ammendment.

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SurfPuppy619 April 4, 2009 @ 4:44 p.m.

and btw hate crimes are: a criminal offense committed against a person, property, or society which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin.

Isn't that pretty much what I just posted????

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SurfPuppy619 April 4, 2009 @ 4:46 p.m.

Surf puppy,So your saying you believe that the simple use of the N-word is a hate crime?

Errrrrr.... if you say it while punching someone in the face, yes, that is a hate crime.

Any more questions Mr. Johnny Cochrane Jr...........

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thebug April 4, 2009 @ 5:20 p.m.

In this case surfpuppy (if you took time to read the article) the only guy doing the punching was the Black guy.If I'm going to fast for ya let me know and I'll slooooo downnn.Shurlock

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SurfPuppy619 April 4, 2009 @ 8:49 p.m.

He began to make the first move, and I punched him in the face.

Hey Einstein-I posted the facts for you, so even someone with a 3rd grade education like you bug/rawbe can read it. Local boy made his move and got biotch slapped into last week.

If you need new glasses let me know, I am feeling charitable today to the mental morons.

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kstaff April 5, 2009 @ 1:38 p.m.

Ahh, the All-American Chickenhawk strikes again. I learned long ago that you just can't win in these situations. The sort of person who starts these kinds of things--initially talkin' real big--is also perfectly willing to lie through his teeth and cry like a baby when he gets what's coming to him.

Til you mentioned race, I was thinking this just sounded like a typical day at OB, which is kind of a jerk magnet anyway.

Since you mentioned it though, I'd say it must be neat to be African-American. In my observation, this kind of stuff is more common on dry land and with the races reversed. And if the white guy does anything to defend himself, it's STILL all his fault and a hate crime.

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SpliffAdamz_ April 6, 2009 @ 3:57 p.m.

Its funny that the guy who punch this idiot never called him racist or a nazi , so why the article say "surf nazi hate crime". I guess everyone knows the vibe of OB. Not everyone is racist there , but there is alot of racist activity out there. Wonder why?

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goaltender April 7, 2009 @ 12:37 p.m.

u did the right thing. ive been here all my life,1957 and these idiots are all cowards-gang mentallity losers all of them, mental midgets that think just because their parents bore them here that they own the ocean...wow

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elvishasleftsandiego May 11, 2009 @ 5:02 a.m.

Good for you, dudester. I hear so many of these lame surfer stories regarding "locals" and their turf. The beach is for everyone, and the waves are for surfers. The guy was obviously a punk. He starts a fight with you, gets his ass kicked, then goes running to the cops. PUSSY is the word. But then you went back out and surfed some more. Awesome!! That alone should qualify you as a new local. The racial slurs that were tossed at you were pretty lame, too. But again, the last refuge of cowards. But seriously, black people surf??????

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