Has the name and address of one of the most notorious Huntington Beach riot vandals been handed to police through Facebook? And could another alleged vandal, who isn't even facing the most serious criminal charges from the incident, be looking at three years in state prison?
The photo on the opener page of the fellow who used a city stop sign to break the window of the Easyrider Bike Shop Sunday was spreading on the Interwebs yesterday before landing in the laps of Huntington Beach Police investigators. Some tips led them to West Covina, which is where 18-year-old Niko Johnson resides. Many claimed he was the guy in the images pulled from witness videos, in part because Johnson had also posted some comments on Twitter and elsewhere that read incriminating.
Alas, Surf City detectives eliminated Johnson as the man in the photos after interrogating him, but he will likely face counts for still being involved in the disturbance, according to Huntington Beach Police's Facebook page.
Which brings us back to the I.D. of the bearded dude up top. No sooner had Huntington Beach cops posted those images on its Facebook page that they got what may be a “hit” in the comments from someone who claims to have gone to school with him and claiming he resides in Fountain Valley. (You can go to the Facebook page to see the name yourself; I'm currently withholding to protect the innocent, blah blah blah.)
Of course, having already gone down this road with Johnson, police are still soliciting tips about the guy in the shots. Call Huntington Beach Police Department's hotline at 714.375.5066 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to help.
Meanwhile, the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) announced earlier that Chase Scott Christman, 19, of Simi Valley, is to be arraigned in Westminster this afternoon on one felony count of vandalism, one misdemeanor count of inciting a riot, and one misdemeanor count of refusal to disperse.
Bail of $20,000 will be sought at the hearing, vows the OCDA, which adds a maximum sentence of three years in state prison now hangs over Christman's head.
Christman is among the arrestees listed in this post, which is also where the social media images of the man sought by police first surfaced:
6 Possible Sparks to the Riots That Broke Out After the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing Ended
A Eulogy for the OC Weekly Rack Destroyed During the Huntington Beach Riots
Multiple U.S. Open of Surfing slideshows
Taiwanese Animators Ape Surf City's White Riot