At least 7 youths detained in alleged Palmdale hate-crime beating
At least seven black youths are facing charges of assault and committing a hate crime for allegedly attacking and severely injuring a Latino teenager as he walked home from school in Palmdale, authorities said.
The incident occurred around 4 p.m. March 14 near Cactus Middle School in the 3200 block of East Avenue R-8, said Deputy Robbie Royster of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Palmdale station.
The 15-year-old Latino victim was approached by a group of up to 10 male black juveniles who challenged him to a fight, Royster said in a written report.
“The suspects surrounded the victim and began punching him while several other juveniles watched,” Royster wrote.
The victim reportedly fell to the ground while trying to defend himself and the suspects allegedly continued to beat him “by punching and kicking him in the face and head,” Royster said.
Witnesses had identified three of the suspects by March 23, according to information released last week about the case. On Wednesday, detectives detained seven juveniles who were identified in a video of the assault, which was posted on a public website, Royster said.
The suspects range in age from 13 to 16 years old and currently face charges of “assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury and committing a hate crime,” Royster said.
-- Ann M. Simmons in Santa Clarita