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Beach Trail Closed for Mugging Investigation

Trail shut off with yellow tape at El Portal

The San Clemente Beach Trail is closed this morning at El Portal as a forensic investigator finished working a crime scene from a Tuesday night mugging.

Three men were walking down the beach trail near the board walk shortly before 11:30 p.m. Tuesday when three other men approached them and attacked them, said Orange County Sheriff Lt. Roland Chacon.

Two were able to run away, but the three attackers caught one victim and beat him, stealing an undetermined amount of cash and an iPhone. Paramedics and police responded at 11:29 p.m.

Police haven't caught any of the suspects--residents with information should call 1-855-847-6227.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Because of mistaken information provided by a source, an earlier version of this article briefly stated a coroner's van was on scene. There was no death and no coroner's van. Patch regrets the error.

Adam Townsend March 28, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Joggers and walkers: I was out at the trail to get photos and it was still closed as of 7 a.m. Let us know in the comments if you go out and find the Sheriff's Department has unstrung its tape and re-opened the trail.
Rob March 28, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Those 2 so-called friends should be ashamed of themselves.
Megan Silkman March 28, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Wow, this is pretty alarming.. I'm the trail most days of the week and always try to be aware of my surroundings. I hope they catch these guys, the beach trail is such a great place to enjoy and exercise although I know there is little to no lighting at night.
george gregory March 29, 2012 at 07:54 PM
good grief the victim needs some new friends beaten and mugged by a mugger ,,,on the trail ,,or ticketed for riding a bike not much difference
george gregory March 29, 2012 at 07:55 PM
trails open
Heavenly Earth March 31, 2012 at 05:24 PM
This is what happened, folks: On the evening of March 27, 2012, two young men were attacked on the San Clemente Beach Trail between the bridge and the El Portal steps while walking home after being with friends. After reaching the middle of the El Portal steps, they noticed a menacing thug at the top blocking the steps and chose to go down the steps and take a different route. The man at the top yelled out as they went down to the trail. When they got to the trail, they were jumped by more thugs. In the chaos they each ran as there was an opening, but ended up in opposite directions on the trail. The thugs choose to continue their pursuit in the safety of darkness on the unlit, south side of the El Portal steps, allowing the other young man to escape. Police were called. The young man that went south was beat, knocked unconscious and left for dead in the bushes up the hill from the trail. This attack was premeditated, coordinated and executed by multiple perpetrators in an area of San Clemente that made it easy for them to choose victims, and, under cover of darkness, commit a senseless, violent act. Fortunately, the young man is recovering from his injuries.
Heavenly Earth March 31, 2012 at 05:30 PM
This particular stretch of the Beach Trail, the north part of the bridge to the El Portal steps, has no lighting, is often pitch black after sunset and is lined with large bushes and shrubs on the inland side of the trail that sit right on the trails edge. These facts make it a desirable and opportune spot for those with malicious intent. The stretch of the trail where the attack occurred is near the bottom of the El Portal steps, which frequently attracts rough, intimidating looking groups of people who like to congregate at the top of the stairs at all hours. Please spread the word and make sure your friends, neighbors and family are aware of this attack. Keep our community safe. Do not hesitate to call police if you see suspicious persons on the trail or at the stairs. Police presence will dissuade criminals from visiting and living in our community. Avoid using the Beach Trail after dark until the city installs proper lighting. Until the safety issues in this area are addressed and new measures are implemented to make this a family friendly verses thug friendly public space, the perpetrators of the violent attack will only feel emboldened to commit similar acts again.
Heavenly Earth March 31, 2012 at 05:39 PM
The third young man was called and came to look for their friend after the event took place.

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