Illario Niko Johnson, Cleared Yesterday as One Surf City Rioter, Arrested for Arson and More

Categories: Crime-iny, Sports

When Huntington Beach Police revealed Tuesday that Illario Niko Johnson had been eliminated as the vandal suspected of smashing a Main Street bike store window with a stop sign, officers added something curious: Just because the Chino 18-year-old was not the bearded man from witness cell phone videos spreading throughout social media, that did not mean law enforcement did not harvest other video that implicated Johnson in a crime.

Well, thanks for that Easter egg, HBPD: today Johnson was arrested on suspicion of felony arson, inciting a riot, participating in an unlawful assembly and refusing to disperse when ordered, police announced.

The police department's Facebook page credits
"the help of information provided by the public" with pointing them to Johnson "as one of the participants who was setting fires on Main Street."

We'd mentioned him Tuesday here:

Chase Scott Christman Faces 3 Years for Role in Surf City Riots; Cops Close in on Stop-Sign Dude

That story includes examples of Johnson apparently bragging about being involved on Twitter. He may now want to tweet for a little help in raising $20,000 bail, the amount set when he was booked into the Huntington Beach City Jail and that the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) will be seeking at his scheduled arraignment Thursday in Westminster.

An OCDA arraignment statement adds this: "Johnson is accused setting fire to a box of catalogs in the street and is charged with one felony count of arson of another's property, and one misdemeanor count each of inciting riots, participating in a rout and unlawful assembly, and refusal to disperse. ... If convicted, he faces a sentencing ranging from probation up to three years in state prison."

Meanwhile, Surf City detectives are still looking for the stop-sign dude as well as other riot participants. Call Huntington Beach Police Department's hotline at 714.375.5066 or email to help.

See also:
More Arrests Pending in U.S. Open of Surfing Riots as Police Identify Those Facing Charges
6 Possible Sparks to the Riots That Broke Out After the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing Ended
A Eulogy for the OC Weekly Rack Destroyed During the Huntington Beach Riots
Taiwanese Animators Ape Surf City's White Riot
Bike Shop Smashed in Sunday's Surf City Riots Seems to Wax Poetic About '86 Version: Video
Cops and Bros Clashing in Surf City: A Historical Timeline
Multiple U.S. Open of Surfing slideshows
Michael John Lytle, Surf City Riot Suspect, in Danger of Losing Fullerton Firefighter Job

Email: Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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Johnson is accused of "participating in a rout". If that is a crime then every athlete who has helped run up the score is guilty.

sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

Good job to those who helped in any way to get thugs off the streets 

its one thing to be a rowdy kid

its another to hurt people / destroy property etc

no excuses


Such a handsome young man witha  bright future! Ladies (or fellas), are ya lining up for him yet?!


Wrong article,, The thug was just re-arrested for multiple things!

Geof Dail
Geof Dail

He's pulled down his page. I'd say that's probably right.

Charla Dargatz
Charla Dargatz

Go to the police if you think you need to but don't post (possibly innocent) people's names. You could uproot someone's life for nothing.

Jenna Lynn Schultz
Jenna Lynn Schultz

I think the guy who smashed the window's name is Oscar Eduardo Mercado. My friend just sent me a link to his fb page. It looks just like him to me.

Kerry Collins
Kerry Collins

i hope someone in the jail beats the heck out of him or let us have him when he gets out.

Linda Josey
Linda Josey

There were so many people filming with their phones. Too bad some of those people didn't step in to help stop the rioters instead of egging them on. I know not everyone is capable but it seems like some of them could have helped.

Jayne Mc Intyre
Jayne Mc Intyre

with a name like "stop-sign-dude" he is bound to step forward for his Darwin award...and the winner is....

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