Police Investigating Attacks on Paparazzi in Malibu
Posted on Mon Jun 23, 2008 02:30 PM PDT

Matthew McConaughey SurfersFight062208.jpg LOS ANGELES, California (X17online) - The Los Angeles County Sheriff Department is currently investigating two incidents that occurred in Malibu over the weekend that resulted in several paparazzi photographers being assaulted by beachgoers. The photographers were taking pictures of actor Matthew McConaughey surfing at Malibu's Point Dume and Paradise Cove beaches when they were harassed and attacked by a large group of surfers, sustaining minor injuries and thousands of dollars in damage to their camera equipment.

Though Sergeant Kinest of the Lost Hills Sheriff's department initially told X17online that the incident would be investigated, he added that there were "no injuries," and that it was "an isolated incident," giving the impression that the incident might not have been a serious threat. However, Malibu Mayor Pamela Conley Ulich has expressed concern for the safety of the public, and the police are taking the matter very seriously.

In recent months, the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department has received an increasing amount of complaints against the paparazzi including traffic violations, blocking sidewalks and driveways outside of businesses and homes, activities around local schools and other acts that pose a potential threat to public safety.

According to the office of Mayor Ulich, in May the City Council of Malibu consented to have Mayor Pamela Conley Ulich work with Pepperdine Dean Kenneth Starr and other constitutional law experts on a pro bono basis to carefully consider whether additional regulations are warranted to protect peace and public safety. However, any new ordinance must be in harmony with the first amendment free speech rights as well as the right for individuals to take photographs in public spaces.

Malibu Mayor Pamela Conley Ulich states:

"I am hopeful we can develop and implement an effective strategy that will address outstanding public safety concerns and balance those concerns against protected 1st Amendment activities and commercial activities. We are blessed to live in a small town where everyone can relax at the beach and enjoy the peaceful tranquility of nature. The City of Malibu will do all it legally can to protect and preserve the natural beauty and tranquility of our town."

CLICK HERE to see footage of the altercation which occurred on Saturday, June 21

CLICK HERE to see footage of the second assault which occurred on Sunday June 22

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