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Young man injured in violent attack over Ocean Beach fire pit

Some in the group claim the attackers yelled racial slurs
Posted at 9:37 PM, Jun 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-23 13:23:00-04

OCEAN BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) -- An attack in Ocean Beach landed one young man in the hospital and unable to work.

The incident happened on June 15. Kobe La and his girlfriend Kristina Castillo said it was supposed to be a fun time with friends, but it turned into a violent attack.

In the evening, Castillo said someone approached them and claimed that they stole his spot on the beach.

“He just escalates, gets more and more rude [and] aggressive,” Castillo said. “He kind of threatened us with his age saying… he's 35. This is his beach. This is his fire pit.”

The group offered to share, but they say the man refused and threatened to return when it got dark. He did return at night with a few other people. Castillo said the man and his group started the fight.

“One of the guys punches my friend Harold in the face,” she said. “After that… it was just chaos.”

The violence landed La in the hospital. He was punched hard, only realizing how bad it was the next morning.

“When I went to brush my teeth, I realized I couldn't move my mouth and it hurt whenever I tried to put my toothbrush in my mouth,” La said. “I was still bleeding from the night before.”

He went to the hospital with facial fractures and underwent surgery at Sharp Memorial. He said the dispute should have never gotten that far.

“There were other spots open… they could have easily gone to a different spot or shared the fire pit with us,” he said. “There wasn’t an issue until they decided to make it an issue.”

Castillo believed because she and her friends are young and all minorities, they were a target. In the video, you could hear a woman call someone “a yellow b----.”

Castillo said someone from that group also yelled another racial slur. “They definitely said the N-word to one of our friends,” she said. “He’s African American and Filipino and his outward appearance, he looks dark [and] has big hair.”

La is now on a liquid diet because of injuries to his face and is unable to work until he recovers. He said it angers him that this all began over a spot at the beach.

“I would say to just be nice to one another. This would definitely not happen if there was more consideration for the people around you,” La said.

A spokesperson for the San Diego Police Department confirmed they are investigating the incident.

In a statement to ABC 10News, a spokesperson wrote: “We are aware of the concerns circulating on social media. SDPD takes all hate crime accusations seriously. We are conducting a thorough investigation into the events that transpired. We are asking that anyone who has information or witnessed the attack to step forward. Call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477 or the SDPD non-emergency line at (619) 531-2000.”