Lunada Bay

Lunada Bay has turned into a battleground between a local surf gang and state officials. Photo: Courtesy of Daily Matador/ Flickr

The infamous Lunada Bay Boys surf gang (notorious for its intense, at times violent, harassment of outsiders who attempt to surf the clean breaks of Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles) now has to deal with an opponent slightly more formidable than visiting surfers: a class-action lawsuit.

RELATED: CA Coastal Commission says surf gang can’t block break access

The suit was filed Tuesday by lead plaintiff Cory Spencer who claims the gang is blocking coastal access at Lunada Bay.

Spencer, a 44-year-old surfer and police officer in the nearby town of El Segundo, was joined in the lawsuit by fellow lead plaintiff Diana Milena Reed, an aspiring big-wave surfer from Malibu as well as the The Coastal Protection Rangers — a nonprofit group that is “dedicated to enforcing” the California Coastal Act (which maintains that all California shoreline is public property).

Spencer said the inspiration to file the lawsuit came after he finally worked up the nerve to surf Lunada Bay in January, only to have a surfer attempt to “spear” him with a surfboard.

“That was a nice introduction to my second wave at Lunada,” Spencer told the Associated Press about the incident shortly thereafter.

Lunada Bay Surf Shack

This unregulated surf shack acts as a gang hangout, per the lawsuit, and should be taken down. Photo: Included in lawsuit

The lawsuit enumerates, in staggering detail, some of the specific offenses the surf gang has enacted to keep outsiders off their break.

While stories of the gang throwing rocks and assaulting visiting surfers who paddled into Lunada are widespread and well documented, the 29-year-old Reed has said that she suffered multiple forms of sexual harassment when she surfed there — including an incident where one local surfer had exposed himself to her.

RELATED: Lunada Bay localism an issue with state agency

“By law, Lunada Bay is open to all,” reads the lawsuit filed by law firms Hanson Bridgett and Otten & Joyce. “In reality, it is open to few.”

The lawsuit is asking a federal judge to fine several listed members of the surf gang $30,000 and ban them from surfing at the righthander for an indefinite period of time. It identifies a cavalcade of individuals as being members of the gang who have engaged in intimidation. But, perhaps more notably, it also names the city of Palos Verdes Estates as a defendant for essentially ignoring the scourge of the Lunada Bay Boys.

“Palos Verdes Estates has a long history of deliberate indifference in not investigating or otherwise policing acts of violence and vandalism against visiting beachgoers,” the suit alleges. “The response is always the same: City leaders acknowledge the problem, promise to do something and then do little or nothing.”

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