A dispute over a parking space resulted in the cars of two beachgoers suffering heavy vandalism damage on Thursday evening in Ocean Beach.
A horde of 15 police cruisers descended upon the 4900 block of Coronado Avenue shortly after 9 p.m. Earlier in the evening, a group of men in a red compact sedan had confronted a group exiting a white Toyota Corolla and a green Honda Civic, demanding that they move their cars to open a street parking space for the red car.
"I told them we were already parked here, and they told us that they were locals and we had to move," the Civic owner reported to a police interviewer. "They started screaming and getting all crazy, but then they left and we decided to go ahead down to the beach. I kind of worried at the time about staying parked, but we couldn't find any space anywhere else."
The group headed down to the cove at the foot of Santa Cruz Avenue, one block north of Coronado. A while later, neighbors were drawn from their homes by the sound of shattering glass and greeted with the sight of the occupants of the red car, who had returned with baseball bats and were smashing in the windows of the Civic and Corolla.
"Some guy actually walked down to the beach and asked if anyone there had a white car and a green car," continued the Civic owner. "He said, 'I've got some bad news for you guys.'"
Upon returning to the scene, the victims were assessing the damage when the occupants of the red sedan drove down the street again in an apparent attempt to survey their handiwork. Heated words were exchanged, and according to a Coronado resident, one or more of the red car's occupants brandished a weapon — reports vary as to whether the assailants were armed with knives or guns.
During the process of collecting field interviews, police got a radio call that the red car, whose license plate was captured by an observer, was reported leaving the beach area via I-8 headed toward I-5 South. About a dozen police cruisers took off in pursuit, leaving a half-dozen officers to continue the investigation.
According to one officer, more than 100 calls had been placed to police in recent hours concerning the actions of the red sedan's occupants. A resident of the 4800 block of Cape May Avenue (eight blocks north of the scene) reported a convergence of police investigating a similar incident just prior to their appearance on Coronado, though further details on the situation there were not immediately available.