AFRICANGLOBE – Long Beach police on Tuesday arrested three Mexican gang members in connection with the videotaped beating of a special-education student that sparked outrage and concern from parents.
The student at Poly Academy of Achievers and Leaders was violently punched and kicked after he ran from a group of teens who confronted him on May 15, according to the boy’s mother.
After the attack, parents and community members gathered in front of Poly High School on Monday to call on school administrators and police to take action to prevent any further violence. They said there had been a string of jumpings that they believed were race-related.
The 18-year-old suspect, Bryan Blancas, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and participating in a criminal street gang, according to jail records. He is being held on more than $1 million bail.
A 16-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy were also arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon that is not a firearm and are being held at Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall. Police did not release their names because they are juveniles.
“Gang detectives, in conjunction with patrol officers, worked through the weekend to identify the suspects involved in this assault,” police said in a news release.
Police believe the attack happened near East 16th Street and Long Beach Boulevard.
Rasheena Mccord, the mother of the victim, told reporters that her son was walking home from school in that area when the Mexican gang members asked him where he was from—a common gang challenge.
She said he tried to run away, but they caught up to him and attacked him for two to three minutes. A video was posted to social media showing the group punching and kicking her son. Mccord said one person in the video wore brass knuckles.
Mccord said that similar attacks happened to other students on Thursday and Friday last week. Post on social media, some including racial slurs directed toward Black victims, documented the attacks.
Police said they think there are more suspects out there.
“The Long Beach Police Department will maintain a heightened presence in the area and reminds the community to report any criminal activity directly to police,” police said.
“Posting a video or status update on social media should not be a substitute for a crime report. If an incident is not reported, it hinders our department’s ability to fully investigate the incident to create a safer environment for our students and community.”
Detectives asked anyone with information to contact the Long Beach Police Department’s gang investigators at 562-570-7370.
By: Valerie Osier