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A mob of skateboarders vandalized businesses and cars in Hollywood, then tossed rocks and bottles at police officers who responded to the scene. Michelle Valles reports for the NBC4 Special Edition News at 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012.
The mob of skateboarders and skate fans who ran amok through Hollywood on Saturday night, captured on a YouTube video by a driver caught in the middle of the mayhem, garnered national attention just as it attracted a swift crackdown by riot police.
Skaters were seen vandalizing businesses and throwing bottles, while bystanders are seen running — resulting in the deployment of more than 100 Los Angeles police officers in riot gear.
The incident began before 9 p.m. as about 1,500 skaters and skate fans showed up to a theater that only holds 600 people to watch a free premiere of “Bake and Destroy.”
Those reportedly turned away reacted in violence, police said.
“I just saw everyone in the street going crazy," said a witness, Huckleberry Hamill.
The door, along with window displays, were destroyed.
The caretaker of the Vine Theatre that hosted the event refused to talk to an NBC4 reporter.
Jay Mok, the owner of Hollywood Tattoo, which is next door to the theater, said he hid inside his shop while vandals etched his car with the letter A for anarchy.
Mok said this is not the first time a melee has broken out at the theater. He said a few years ago, skateboarders got into it outside the theater.
"It happened a few years back, a few times," Mok said. "They didn't get into a riot, but ... out of control."
Police dispersed about 500 skateboarding fans in less than three hours. No injuries were reported. There were early reports that one person was arrested for failing to disperse, police said, but details were not immediately available.
Los Angeles police Sgt. Raul Jovel said several people threw rocks and bottles at officers during the clash. At least two cars were also damaged.