Lunada Bay in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., "appears to be a surfer's dream," notes the New York Times. However, thanks to a local group known as the Bay Boys, trying to catch a wave a there can be a nightmare. "These guys tried to really hurt me," Chris Taloa says. "A guy tried to ram a board into my ribs." Now a pair of surfers and the Coastal Protection Rangers have filed a class action lawsuit against the Bay Boys in hopes of getting an injunction that would stop members from gathering on the beach (a legal tactic that has been used with street gangs). Surfers have complained for decades about the Bay Boys, a group of middle-aged local men who hurl harassment and rocks to keep what they see as their beach free of outsiders (as the local cops, reportedly, look the other way).
Last year, a Guardian reporter and photographer experienced the "localism" first hand. Threatened on the beach, they returned to a car that was "smeared with eggs and someone had used surf wax to scratch 'kooks' … on the windows." Angelo Ferrara, 58, a defendant in the lawsuit, says, "Surfing is overcrowded" and localism is common. "You have beginners, intermediate and advanced," he tells the Times. "And they don’t get along." Some residents in Palos Verdes Estates support the Bay Boys. One tells the Daily Breeze the Bay Boys "keep the area clean." A plaintiff in the suit, Diana Milena Reed, says a Bay Boy sprayed her with beer, made lewd comments, and exposed himself. But even in that case, the Bay Boys aren't to blame, one local tells the Breeze: "That girl walked in there and she put herself right in the middle of all these guys." (Read more Palos Verdes Estates stories.)