4th Suspect Arrested in Connection With Recorded Beating of Special-Ed Student

The last of three teenage suspects accused, along with an 18-year-old man of assaulting a special-needs student in Long Beach -- an attack captured on cell phone video and posted online -- has been taken into custody, police announced Wednesday.

The suspect, a 16-year-old boy from Long Beach who was taken into custody on Tuesday at a home in Torrance, was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and participating in a criminal street gang in connection with the May 15 attack near 15th Street and Long Beach Boulevard. He's being held at Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall in Downey, according to the Long Beach Police Department.

Bryan Blancas, 18, of Long Beach, and the other two juvenile suspects were arrested on May 21 in connection with the attack on the 17-year-old victim, video of which was posted on YouTube and then widely shown on local television news stations.

The custody status of the other boys, aged 16 and 17, was not immediately available.

Blancas has pleaded not guilty to two counts each of assault with a deadly weapon and violation of civil rights and single counts of battery and dissuading a witness by force or threat. He is being held without bail at the North County Correctional Facility in Castaic and faces life in prison if convicted.

Rasheena Mccord told the Long Beach Post that her son -- who she described as a special needs student -- was walking home from school when he was asked by some teens where he was from -- a common challenge among gang members.

"He tried to run, but they caught up to him," Mccord said.

She described the video posted to social media showing the group punching and kicking her son near the Poly Academy of Achievers and Leaders.

Mccord said the attack lasted about two to three minutes. The video also shows the person filming, a girl, getting attacked afterward, according to Mccord.

She said one of the attackers was wearing brass knuckles, but the weapon did not make contact with her son, who had bruises on his head, a torn eardrum, scrapes on his elbows and muscle soreness.

Mccord said the group involved in the attack was made up of Latino current and former Poly High School students who targeted her son because he is black. She said the same type of attacks happened to other students on May 9 and 10.

Videos posted on social media recently have shown groups of black and Latino boys or young adults attacking each other. Some of the posts are laced with racial epithets.

"Posting a video or status update on social media should not be a substitute for a crime report," according to a police statement. "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."

Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the Long Beach Police Department's Gang Detail at 562-570-7370, or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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