Teens riding e-bikes accused of terrorizing South Bay residents

Complaints about a group of teenagers on e-bikes terrorizing people in South Bay communities began to pop up on social media a few months ago.

But residents began reaching out to FOX 11 after a group of black balaclava-wearing riders attacked another group on the Hermosa Beach Strand, later meeting again on the 12th Street public parking garage in Newport Beach, where one teen ended up hospitalized. Hermosa Beach Police have arrested one teen for the attack.

On March 9, former Hermosa Beach councilperson Sam Edgerton was walking on The Strand with his girlfriend, when he explained, they were accosted by a group of e-bikers that "kept on coming back at us". You can hear him calling the police on the video they posted. 

Then, there was an incident earlier this month, when the Meistrells were walking home after the popular Beach Life Festival. Witnesses I spoke to on the phone back up their claim that a group of teens on bikes drove past them, and hit a woman from the back when Randy Meistrell told them to slow down. 

Randy Meistrell admitted he went after one of them, after his wife went down, and that's when several of them attacked him.

Police showed up, but ended up taking Randy to jail, when one of the teens showed the officer video of Meistrell going after them. Redondo police say the incident is under investigation, but that Meistrell was taken in for "public intoxication," a "misdemeanor at most", I was told.

All three agencies, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Newport Beach, sent us statements, explaining their attempts to deal with e-biker issues, including educational efforts like school assemblies, enforcement like ticketing.

Manhattan Beach's City Council even enacted an emergency ordinance banning e-bikes on the Greenbelt and sidewalks, establishing a 15 mph speed limit on the beach bike path and imposing fines up to $1,000 for violations.

But those we spoke to say this particular group of kids is troubling and dangerous, and call for stronger enforcement before someone gets seriously hurt. 

Statement from Manhattan Beach Police Department:

The Manhattan Beach Police Department has been actively collaborating with regional partners to address recent concerns regarding a group of juveniles engaging in dangerous and criminal activities in our city and surrounding areas.

To date, we have taken the following steps:

  1. 1. The Police Department has increased patrols in affected areas.
  2. We are working closely with our community to identify and engage with those involved.
  3. Arrests have and will continue to be made.

We recognize that these incidents cross jurisdictional boundaries and we are working with our partner agencies to investigate and solve these crimes.

The robbery on 12th Street at Metlox Plaza on May 4, 2024, involving multiple individuals confronting three others and stealing an e-bike battery and a necklace is under investigation by our juvenile detective.

We urge community members to report crimes directly to the Police Department promptly. For emergencies, call 9-1-1, and for non-emergencies, contact our dispatch at (310) 545-4566.

Statement from Hermosa Beach Police Department: 

Like many City police departments across the state, our officers have responded to multiple reports of reckless biking and unruly juveniles. The Hermosa Beach Police Department (HBPD) often sees an increase in these types of calls during the months leading up to summer. These illegal activities are being conducted by both juveniles and adults.

Hermosa Beach Police Chief Paul LeBaron recently gave an update regarding trends at a city council meeting:

A: HBPD and the City of Hermosa Beach are aware of community concerns and are working collaboratively to address them. In response to these issues and to encourage responsible use of e-bikes, Hermosa Beach Police officers and City staff use the "Three E’s": Education, Engineering, and Enforcement.

HBPD works to educate the community on the rules regarding eBikes and the potential consequences if not operated safely and within the law. We routinely speak to students in assemblies in our local schools about these topics as well as posting information on our social media.  

HBPD officers also enforce violations of these laws. Citations are issued to bikes that do not follow the rules of the road. Illegal off road electric motorcycles are impounded. Those who shoot off illegal fireworks can be cited or arrested. Last week, HBPD officers impounded two illegal electric bikes and arrested two subjects for illegal fireworks.

This past weekend, the Hermosa Beach Police Department held a bike safety operation which resulted in 24 citations and 2 electric motorcycles being towed. Hermosa Beach PD can impound off road vehicles per the California vehicle code. Illegal "electric motorcycles" are often confused with eBikes. eBikes can be legally ridden on the city street like a bicycle as long as the rider is following the rules of the road.

Hermosa Beach Police officers impound both electric motorcycles and pocket bikes that operate illegally per the California vehicle code. Recently, HBPD officers have written numerous citations and impounded a half dozen of these illegal off-road vehicles. We posted this to HBPD social media channels.

On the engineering front, HBPD officers continue to work with City staff to identify and recommend solutions that encourage responsible e-bike use. Most recently, the City installed barricades on The Strand (a walking and bike path adjacent to the beach) to encourage cyclists to dismount in the no-riding zone.

To further ensure local bike safety, the City has also added sharrow markings on Prospect Avenue as part of a recent paving project to help establish a north-south bike route per the city’s bike Master Plan, and City Council has approved downtown lane reconfiguration to keep the bike lanes in Hermosa’s downtown area along Pier Avenue and Hermosa Avenue.

Under AB43, the City also lowered speed limits and updated its vehicle code to lower the speed of traffic and improve safety for all roadway users, including bikes. When a severe crash occurs within City limits, Hermosa’s Public Works department and HBPD staff meet to determine if an engineering countermeasure could help prevent or reduce future crashes.

In regards to the incident involving a young man:

HBPD received information regarding the assault of a middle school aged resident that occurred on April 28th. Officers reviewed video of the victim being assaulted by a group of teenagers, and our detectives conducted an investigation and identified multiple juvenile subjects involved. On May 14th, HBPD officers and detectives arrested the main suspect at his school. He was booked on assault charges and delivered to the custody of the L.A. County juvenile detention facility. 

Statement from Redondo Beach Police Department: 

The incident that occurred on May 3rd on the bike path on North Harbor Drive is currently under investigation by detectives from the Redondo Beach Police Department.  If the investigation rises to the level of a misdemeanor, the case will be presented to the Redondo Beach City Prosecutor for review.   Because it is an active investigation, no additional information will be released at this time.

The Redondo Beach Police Department has taken a proactive approach to both education and enforcement in regards to e-bikes.


  • E-bike safety meetings have taken place at Alta Vista Park, Anderson Park and Redondo Union High School.  These meetings were well attended and similar concerns were raised at each, including: rules of the road for e-bike riders, police enforcement, and the three classes of electric bicycles that have been established by the State of California.
  • The police department created a video regarding e-bike laws and safety, which can be found on the police department website.
  • The police department Community Services Unit began handing out $5 Starbucks gift cards to e-bike riders, who were observed obeying the rules of the road. The envelope with the gift card included a QR code that linked the user to the Police Department e-bike video.


  • E-bike enforcement in Redondo Beach over the past 3 months has resulted in 19 citations, with the most common violations listed as:
  • Not wearing a helmet for riders 16 and under
  • Failing to stop at a posted Stop sign
  • Allowing a second passenger, who is not on a separate seat