Illario Niko Johnson, Outed by Social Media as Surf City Riots Arsonist, Pleads Guilty, Gets Jail

An 18-year-old Chino man arrested after bragging via Twitter that he had been involved in the Huntington Beach riots that followed the U.S. Open of Surfing in July recently pleaded guilty to having set fires on Main Street.

Illario Niko Johnson, whose tweet was forwarded to Huntington Beach cops who made him the first to be arrested after the riots, copped to felony arson of property and misdemeanor counts of participating in an unlawful assembly and recklessly causing a fire to the property of another.

Johnson had originally been suspected and later cleared of being the vandal who used a torn out stop sign to break through the window of the Easyrider bike shop on Main the night of the riots.

Illario Niko Johnson, Cleared Yesterday as One Surf City Rioter, Arrested for Arson and More

Police advised at the time that while he was no longer considered to be Illario the Impaler, he could still be connected to other rioting crimes. The PD's Facebook page later credited the public with pointing them to Johnson as the man who set the fires.

He was sentenced to 12 days in jail and given three court orders to: perform 200 hours of community service; serve three years of informal probation; and stay away from Main Street between Orange Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway.

Email: Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >