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Nearly 150 arrested at TikTok 'kickback' party after thousands attend viral California event

After a TikTok was posted asking people to come celebrate a birthday, hundreds of partygoers descended on Huntington Beach on Friday and Saturday nights.
People party on the street in Huntington Beach, Calif., on May 22, 2021.
People party on the street in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Saturday.@oscarr400 via Instagram

What started off as a birthday celebration ballooned into massive gatherings over the weekend in Huntington Beach, California, requiring police to break up the parties and leading to nearly 150 arrests, officials said.

The party, originally posted Wednesday to TikTok as a meetup called "Adrian's Kickback" by user adrian.lopez517, was intended to have people "pop out n celebrate my bday." The post went viral throughout the week, spawning a hashtag that was viewed more than 203 million times on the app.

Gatherings formed Friday and Saturday in Huntington Beach, near Los Angeles, and police dispersed crowds both nights.

Police arrested 121 adults and 28 juveniles Saturday night, Jennifer Carey, a police spokesperson, told NBC Los Angeles. The charges included vandalism, firing dangerous/illegal fireworks, failure to disperse and curfew violations, NBC Los Angeles reported.

No major injuries were reported, but paramedics were on call to deal with any medical issues.


#adrianskickback just ended!! Soo many cops, they were firing paintballs!!😳 #adrians #foryou

♬ original sound - 🥸

"We are actively monitoring multiple social media posts advertising a large gathering on the beach this weekend," police tweeted Friday. "The safety & well-being of our residents, visitors, businesses & motorists is paramount, which is why the Huntington Beach Police Department is taking significant steps to prepare for the potential influx of visitors, including working closely with our regional public safety partners.

"Toward that end, the HBPD will also be strictly enforcing all applicable laws & ordinances throughout the weekend."

The crowd began to arrive at 6:30 p.m. Saturday for the party, which was scheduled for 7:30 p.m. It's unclear when people began gathering Friday.

TikTok videos of the two nights appear to show hundreds of people on Huntington Beach, walking both through the streets and on the beach. Other videos show people saying they had flown to California to attend the kickback.

A verified TikToker, TheSyncUp, posted videos that appeared to be from Saturday night showing the bedlam on the beach. The video showed people climbing flagpoles, crowding the roads and jumping off what appears to be an elevated road. The video also shows a line of police officers.

About 2,500 people showed up Saturday night. NBC Los Angeles reported that about 150 officers were on the scene to handle the crowd.

"What the f---, dude? The cops are firing paintballs at everyone now," TheSyncUp says in the video.

Other videos show cars in the street doing donuts, with one red car's tires appearing to smoke as a crowd recording on cellphones gathers around. Another video shows a white car doing donuts while passengers hang out the window. A third video shows a white truck spinning its tires to kick up smoke before it does donuts in what appears to be an intersection.

Police deployed less lethal weapons to break up the crowd Saturday, NBC Los Angeles reported. Police were reported to have begun to break up the crowd after fireworks were used.

Police tweeted that drugs, alcohol and fireworks were prohibited on the beach and that it closed at 10 p.m.

An emergency curfew from 11:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. remained in effect Sunday, police tweeted.