Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Suspects In Venice Beach Lifeguard Attack Identified

LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.

Fight with lifeguard and the homie Oscar against Kooks on venice pier while chillin with international pop star Lauren Shona McCoy

Posted by Romy Dee on Thursday, July 30, 2015

The two men and one woman who allegedly attacked a Venice Beach lifeguard have been identified.

Harutiun Balyan, 30, Ara Sarkisyan, 28, and Arusiak Gekchyan, 28, were arrested on suspicion of battery of an executive officer, which is a felony, the L.A. Times reports. All three have been released on bail.

The bizarre fight occurred Thursday evening between 6:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. County Lifeguard Capt. Kenichi Haskett told the Times this is the first time he can remember a lifeguard getting into a fight like this. "We don't get into physical altercations," he said.

Support for LAist comes from

Video of the incident captured by a bystander shows a lifeguard stationed at the tower on Venice Pier arguing with three people walking by. The lifeguard climbs down from the tower, and a wild fight breaks out immediately. The two men can be seen attacking the lifeguard, who fights back. A bystander gets involved when he attempts to pull one of the men away from the lifeguard. The woman can be seen kicking at the lifeguard while accusing him of sexually harassing her.

Soon, two other lifeguards arrive to calm things down, and the lifeguard tells them that the group flicked a cigarette into his tower. The woman then attacks the lifeguard again, screaming that he told her he wanted to have sex with her. At one point, it appears the bystander armed himself with a traffic cone.

Witnesses and the lifeguard's supervisor said that the lifeguard had asked one of the alleged attackers to put their cigarette out. Haskett said that there is a 'no smoking' sign posted at the pier and though only law enforcement has the ability to cite people who break the rules, it's common for lifeguards to request rules be followed.

Haskett said the lifeguard drove to the hospital after the incident and is waiting to see if his hand is broken. The lifeguard hasn't been identified by name, but is a full-time employee who's been with the department for 10 years.

Lifeguards have been busy this week. On Tuesday, they rescued over 400 people across L.A. County.