Two attackers were sought after a 15-year-old Southern California high school baseball player was beaten with bottles, choked and left unconscious.
Sheriff's detectives asked for the public's help in identifying the two men who ambushed Evan Jimenez, a student and baseball player at San Pedro High School. Jimenez remained hospitalized in serious condition after the beating in north San Pedro by suspected gang members, authorities said.
A detailed description of the assailants was not available.
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The junior varsity baseball player was walking home from a friend's house when he was attacked about 11:50 p.m. Thursday in an alley in the 900 block of First Street, near Bandini Street, a neighborhood known as La Rambla. Jimenez was beaten with bottles and choked, according to authorities. He was taken to County Harbor UCLA Medical Center where he was put into the intensive care unit.
Minutes after the attack, a vehicle pulled into the alley and took Jimenez to the hospital. The driver dropped Jimenez off at the hospital but didn't leave his name, police said.
"He's a great kid, a typical 15-year-old," said San Pedro head baseball coach Steve Tedesco. "Very goofy, very funny, life of the party, but also very motivated and very driven on the baseball field and in the classroom. He's a responsible kid."
Investigators said Evan has no criminal ties, he wasn’t robbed, and they have no explanation for why he was targeted.
Tedesco said that Jimenez didn't appear to have brain damage but faces a "long road to recovery."
His teammates were shocked to learn of the attack.
"My mom woke me up and told me what happened and my heart dropped to my stomach. I didn’t believe it was true," Christopher Tyszkiewicz said.
Late Monday morning, Jimenez's aunt told NBC4 that he opened his eyes and is awake.
"He's slowly coming to and showing interest. He opens his eyes and he knows who we are," the victim's aunt Cortney Steinhoff said.
Friends and family set up a GoFundMe account to help the family pay their medical bills. More than $47,600 of a target of $100,000 has been donated since the page went up Saturday. The GoFundMe page includes photos of Jimenez before and after the attack.
If you would like to donate to a GoFundMe account set up to help Jimenez, you may do so here. Note that GoFundMe deducts 7.9 percent of all funds raised in the form of platform and payment processing charges.
Anyone with information on this beating or the attackers was asked to call the sheriff's Lomita station at 310-539-1661. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477. All tips can be made anonymously.
City News Service contibuted to this report.