Video captured on Thursday night shows a Venice Beach lifeguard being attacked by three people – and all because he had asked them to stop smoking.
Two men and a woman were arrested after the attack. Harutiun Balyan, 30, Ara Sarkisyan, 28, and Arusiak Gekchyan, 28, were charged with suspicion of battery on an executive officer.
The lifeguard has been with the department for 10 years. “This is the first time something like this has happened that I can recall,” county lifeguard Capt. Kenichi Haskett told The LA Times. “We don’t get into physical altercations.”
Haskett said the lifeguard was getting down from his tower in order to have a clear conversation with the trip. There is no smoking along the pier. There is a sign on the pier, but lifeguards must continually remind people about the rules according to Haskett. Lifeguards do not have the power to arrest anyone for the violation.
Two additional lifeguards were eventually able to break up the fight. The lifeguard at the center of the fight drove himself to the hospital and may have broken his hand. One of the attackers also received medical treatment for an undisclosed injury.
KTLA reports the three attackers were drunk.