Costa Rican Officer Trying To Clear A Closed Beach Fires Several Gunshots At A Trespassing Pro Surfer Before Arresting Him

Noe Mar McGonagle Costa Rica Pro Surfer Shot At

Getty Image / Matt Roberts

I don’t know what’s more unbelievable, how many people in America (thanks to Tiger King) just found out that Ligers are real animals and not just something made up in Napoleon Dynamite or the fact that this Costa Rican officer thought he could accomplish anything by firing his gun at a trespassing pro surfer on the beach while attempting to clear the beach during a widespread shutdown.

The surfer who was arrested isn’t the one who was being shot at, the one that got arrested is Costa Rican pro Noe Mar McGonagle who’s based out of Pavones, one of the most beautiful surfing towns I’ve ever been to. I haven’t been there in over a decade but I remember the wild Scarlett Macaws flying around all over and it was one of the coolest experiences. That wave, when the conditions are right and it’s connecting across all the sections, is also one of the best in the world.

The scenario is this: beaches are closing in Costa Rica. This is partly in order to protect citizens and tourists from getting bunched up in a lineup while waiting to catch waves, to keep everyone spaced out, at home, and safe. The officer was clearing the beach when he inexplicably discharged his firearm at the surfer who was fleeing on foot.

Pro surfer (The G.O.A.T.) Kelly Slater weighed in on this in an Instagram comment on The Inertia:

In a comment written on The Inertia’s Instagram page in response, that has now been passed across industry outlets and other IG pages, Kelly Slater defended the practice: “I’ve seen videos this week of people being arrested who were surfing alone near no other people while people physically grab them out of the water or off the beach. Just seems like a lame power trip. Some of those same videos show numerous people cruising around each other on dry land on the sidewalks, notably in Bondi. If you don’t see the ridiculousness and irony in that there’s something wrong. Malls have been open in countries surfing has been deemed illegal. Somebody, instead of attacking the person, please give a rational explanation of why people can’t surf if they keep their distance. I’m open to it if there is a good argument.”

We know he was arrested after this clip, after he was shot at by the officer, but we don’t know exactly what happened before that eld up to this incident. However, the reality here is you should follow police orders. Sure, you are very safe from the virus while surfing and separated from others. But if the cops say you have to stay home and off the beach, you listen. Or we end up with wild scenarios such as this. If he was never on that beach in the first place then this wouldn’t have happened.

There are A LOT of questions left to be answered. Why on God’s Green Earth did this officer think that firing his gun at the surfer was an appropriate way to stop him, or to clear the beach? What happened immediately before this video was filmed?

The use of potentially lethal force to clear a beach is such an extreme misuse of power that it’s hard to comprehend that it ever came to that but here we are. Another aspect of this story is how so much of Costa Rica’s economy relies on tourism and seeing a surfer get shot at isn’t a good look for anyone thinking about planning a trip to C.R. months from now once the travel restrictions are relaxed again.

For more on this story, you can click here to visit The Inertia.