The causes of riots have been extensively researched. Comparatively, little is known about why riots are prevented from occurring. We address this gap with a qualitative analysis of the 2021 Dutch curfew riots as a case. We video observed and interviewed 40 formal and informal guardians who were present during the riots, some of which did not escalate. The informal guardians—acting as intimate handlers—were found to have direct de-escalatory effects, operative because of their well-developed social community bounds: The rioters avoided jeopardizing these bonds of attachment, which also created a more positive image of the police through guardian-police collaborations. Our findings stress the importance of social bonds for the effectiveness of guardianship action. We discuss the generalizability of this finding for other crimes and consider practical implications for riot management.