Wi Spa: Proud Boys and Antifa clash as LAPD uses rubber bullets to disperse mob
Smoke bombs and other projectiles were hurled at officers who were trying to break up the unruly mob, the Los Angeles Police Department said
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Authorities arrested dozens of people outside a Koreatown spa during a transgender rights protest that saw members of Antifa and Proud Boys violently clash with one another.
Smoke bombs and other projectiles were hurled at officers who were trying to break up the unruly mob, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement, adding that stun guns, knives, and pepper spray were confiscated from protesters. Police were seen in videos posted to social media, wearing full riot gear as they contained the mob using batons. Another video showed a cop firing a rubber bullet at one demonstrator. The protests reportedly stemmed from a viral video of an irate customer complaining to Wi Spa staff about a transgender woman fully exposing herself inside the women's locker room.
The clips did not include any information about what led to or followed the incidents. More information is expected to be divulged by the LAPD shortly. One of the videos showed buildings covered in graffiti, with one Guardian reporter at the scene claiming she was shoved to the ground by a "right-wing" extremist she tried to interview.
"Just got thrown to the ground by right-wing anti-pedophile protesters as a crowd converged on me and chased me," Guardian reporter Lois Beckett said on Twitter alongside a video of the assault. "They threw water at me and screamed about Jesus and said to grab my phone. Police would not let me through the police line but after I got thrown on the ground they did."
Just got thrown to the ground by right-wing anti-pedophile protesters as a crowd coverged on me and chased me. They threw water at me and screamed about Jesus and said to grab my phone. Police would not let me through the police line but after I got thrown on the ground they did. pic.twitter.com/LDGqkua3fi— Lois Beckett (@loisbeckett) July 17, 2021
Antifa vandalized buildings with their political messages in Korea Town in Los Angeles before rioting. pic.twitter.com/4xEjPc1Yk0— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 18, 2021
The melee in downtown Los Angeles reportedly stemmed from a viral video of a woman who complained to staff at Wi Spa that a transgender woman had "fully exposed" his male genitalia in the women's locker room.
"Wi Spa allows a man into women's wet spa section where all the women are naked, mothers with their young daughters and teens," said the woman in question, who goes by the name Cubana Angel. "The Wi Spa allowed the man access just because he calls himself a woman. This man was naked exposing his testicles and penis slinging left to right in front of young girls, teens, and grown women. What is our world coming to."
She later told the press of her horror when she saw that the trans woman's penis was "slightly erected."
"This was not normal. I'm in a safe place. But now I'm not," Angel added. "Little girls are there, their mothers are there, other women are looking about, and they begin to put their robes back on them. I went to management. Management did nothing. I even told the guy he should leave, 'This is not right,' and he didn't leave. We had no help whatsoever. I did not know what to do," she explained, adding that she "experienced what no woman or little girl should ever experience."
The spa defended its policy of allowing transgender customers to use its facilities as they identified, sparking controversy. Authorities declared unlawful assembly in front of the Koreatown spa around 11 am on Saturday after trans-rights demonstrators gathered and clashed with counter-protesters.
At a protest near Wilshire Bl & Rampart Bl, 2 groups clashed. Smoke bombs/projectiles were thrown at ofcrs & a dispersal order was issued. Several dozen people were arrested. Numerous items in violation of 55.07 LAMC were found discarded including a stungun, knives, pepper spray pic.twitter.com/exk7vvTfRm— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) July 17, 2021
According to the Daily Mail, LAPD spokeswoman Det Meghan Aguilar said they were still processing the people who were arrested at the time of writing and therefore did not have an immediate arrest count. Authorities also screened to see if anyone needed medical treatment. However, no officer was injured and no protester was taken to the hospital, Aguilar said.