Two men and a woman involved in the brawl have been released on bail

By Gary Walker

Two men and a woman who got into a fistfight with a county lifeguard on Thursday at the Venice Pier have been released on bail as a battery investigation continues, according to police.

The lifeguard has been released from a local hospital after suffering a hand injury sustained in the brawl, county lifeguard Capt. Ken Haskett said.

Haskett said the three battery suspects attacked the lifeguard, who had been stationed in a tower at the pier, at around 7:15 p.m. after the lifeguard asked one of them to put out a lit cigarette. Haskett was not able to confirm reports that one of the suspects threw a lit cigarette at the lifeguard.

Cell phone video captured by a witness shows the fight breaking out immediately after the lifeguard climbs down from his tower.

“The [beach] towers are at least 12 feet high, and we want to make sure that there is no miscommunication or misunderstanding when our lifeguards have to address the public,” Haskett said when asked about why the lifeguard stepped down from the tower.

The three people involved in the brawl were arrested and have since been released on bail, LAPD Det. Terry Keyzer said.

“At this point, we’re investigating a battery. We have video evidence that we think shows that at some point during the altercation all three suspects struck or attempted to strike the lifeguard,” Keyzer said.

Haskett said the lifeguard, who he said been with the department for at least 10 years, will be assigned to “limited duty” for an undetermined amount of time before he will be to return to active duty.

“We haven’t been able to confirm that his hand was broken. There was a lot of swelling, so they weren’t able to take X-rays last night. Other than that, he’s in good condition,” Haskett said.