Man throws lit firework into crowd at Hermosa Beach event for Pride Month

Josh Haskell Image
Wednesday, June 28, 2023
Man throws lit firework into crowd at Hermosa Beach Pride event
Hermosa Beach police told Eyewitness News they are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime because the firework was thrown at a Pride Month event.

HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Hermosa Beach police are looking for a man who threw a lit firework into a crowd at a silent disco event marking Pride Month, injuring multiple people.

The incident happened around 9:45 p.m. on June 17.

Video shows the man standing off to the side of the event, lighting up a firework and tossing it into the crowd, then quickly getting onto a motorized beach cruiser and pedaling off. He appears to be accompanied by two additional people on their own bike.

"We are investigating this as a possible hate crime," said Hermosa Beach PD Capt. Landon Phillips. "We cannot rule that out. This was advertised as a Pride event. It appears the subject stopped there specifically, waited for a few minutes and then threw the explosive into the crowd."

The silent-disco festival was being held at Vista, at the Hermosa Beach pier as part of a series of activities to mark Pride Month supporting the LGBTQ community.

Adam Molvani's company was putting on the event and said the firework landed two feet away from him. He said two of his employees were injured.

"It was very scary," he said. "It was pretty traumatic for some of us, especially because it was a Pride event and you just never know what that might attract. There's some crazy people out there."

He said one of his workers suffered a minor wound on her leg and another suffered a few burns that blew holes through his shirt.

"It was a pretty powerful blast and everybody's ears were ringing," he said. "It could have been a lot worse."

Dignity Health St. Mary Medical Center's Director of Emergency Services Dr. Ali Jamehdor said fireworks should be considered explosive devices and should only handled by professionals.

"They can cause severe injuries," he said. "We're talking amputations, we're talking loss of vision, and there really is no limit to the extent of the injuries you can get from an explosive device going off in your hand or in your face. People sometimes will bend forward to look and see why it's not going off and then it explodes."

A man threw a lit firework into the crowd at a Pride event in Hermosa Beach, injuring several people, before riding off on his beach cruiser.

Police say fragments of the firework struck multiple people in the crowd but none of the injuries were considered life-threatening.

The suspect is described as a man believed to be in his late teens or early 20s, wearing a black sweatshirt with yellow lining, dark pants, and a red, white and blue helmet.

His bicycle was a beach cruiser with a gas-powered motor and fuel tank attached under the handlebars. An American flag was flying in the back.

Anyone with information is asked to call Hermosa Beach police at (310)318-0360.