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Airlift helicopter removes the last few bags of debris from the Lunada Bay surf spot in Palos Verdes Estates where local surfer "Bay Boys" had erected a large illegal patio gathering spot. Photo by Brad Graverson/The Daily Breeze/SCNG/12-02-16

Story: A group of territorial, middle-aged surfers dubbed the Bay Boys spent years harassing anyone who tried to use a stretch of beach on the peninsula they thought belonged to them.

When: 2016

What happened: Since the 1960s, a group of surfers known as Lunada Bay Boys have reportedly harassed out-of-town surfers, which, after lawsuits and other pressures, led to the demolition of the group’s cliffside “rock port” hang out in Palos Verdes Estates in 2016.

The Bay Boys have been accused of everything from vandalizing cars to throwing rocks at non-locals while local police often times looked the other way, according to critics. Several lawsuits against the city over surfing localism have been filed since 1995.

In 2015, the Guardian Newspaper published undercover video where bay surfers were reportedly seen threatening journalists and an officer.

A federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and the Bay Boys was dismissed in 2018, two years after it was filed; it sought to classify the group as a criminal street gang and force the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department to investigate the alleged crimes. The plaintiffs also sought state fines under the California Coastal Act for blocking beach access.

Fictionalized accounts of the Bay Boys have reached bookshelves and movie theaters.

The best-selling novel “The Tribes of Palos Verdes,” written by Joy Nicholson, was based the story on her life and move to the town. Excerpts of the novel were published in The Surfer’s Journal when the novel was released in 1998. The film adaptation starring Jennifer Garner hit theaters in 2017.

Contact Lisa Jacobs lisa.jacobs@TBRnews.com or follow her on Twitter @lisaannjacobs.

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