We hear whispers of violence and ugly beach scenes in the lore of Oahu’s North Shore. On occasion, we’ve witnessed a heavy scene or two. Getting cracked and whatnot. But rarely does it appear so boldly, with so many people involved, in such a ridiculously public and iconic location like Waimea Bay. On Saturday, July 5, instead of basking in a paradisiacal holiday weekend, cameras captured a massive brawl on the beach among a throng of beachgoers – all yelling, chest-pounding, fighting, and pepper-spraying – in what some have called a riot on Fourth of July weekend.
Honolulu Police told us that the discussion around this event has been blown out of proportion – that fights like these don’t occur often and are most likely a result of alcohol. The twelve officers dispatched to the scene made four arrests – three at Waimea and one later at a nearby beach, for various charges including public drinking, resisting arrest, and misdemeanor assault.
While little information has been shared with regard to the cause of this giant beach fight, the coconut wireless has been ringing off the hook. According to local Hawaiian resident and The Inertia contributor Rory Parker: “The best [rumor] I’ve heard so far is that it was a rumble between the Hell’s Angels and Da Hui, which it most certainly was not.”
More likely, he continued, “It was semi-planned on social media as some sort of stupid Waianae vs. Ewa fight.”
Unfortunately, what can mostly be chalked up to drunk behavior comparable to any other city in the U.S. is being misconstrued with racist undertones. “Like everything in Hawaii,” Parker wrote via email, “this is quickly turning into a racial debate, with ‘locals are animals’ on one side and ‘haoles always cause trouble’ on the other…Once you grow a little older, wiser, and start getting laid regularly, it’s hard to whip up any motivation to act like this.”