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Five Youths Arrested in Gang-Related Assault

By Lookout Staff

July 14 -- Five Hispanic teenagers were arrested this week for a gang-related assault after they jumped a black youth at the Pico Neighborhood border near Santa Monica High School Wednesday afternoon, according to police.

The victim, a 19-year old Santa Monica resident, told police that he was at a local fast food restaurant near Lincoln Boulevard and Michigan Avenue when the suspects approached him shortly after 4 p.m.

“Apparently, one of the suspects said something to the victim and then all of the suspects began to punch the victim,” said Lt. Frank Fabrega, the police department spokesman.

The victim ran and the suspects gave chase, Fabrega said. One of the suspects pointed a handgun at the victim. The police were notified and the suspects fled.

At 5:04 p.m., police assigned to the Pico Neighborhood Task Force (Operation Safe Streets) responded to the 2600 block of Pico Boulevard regarding a fight and detained several subjects, Fabrega said. Police conducted a field show up and detained two suspects allegedly involved in the earlier assault.

The suspects are identified as Benjamin Andres Moreno, an 18-year-old Hispanic from Bellflower. He was booked for several charges, including attempted murder, participating in a criminal street gang and engaging in a hate crime.

The second suspect is described as a 17-year-old male Hispanic. He was booked at a local juvenile detention facility for participation in a criminal street gang and battery.

Less than an hour later at 5:50 p.m., police officers on the task force patrolling the area saw two additional subjects in the 2400 block of Pico Boulevard who were also involved in the earlier assault.

After a field show-up, police identified the two suspects, who were arrested, Fabrega said.

The suspects, both Hispanics 16 and 17 years old, were transported to a local juvenile detention facility, police said. They, too, were booked on several charges, including attempted murder, criminal threats and participating in a street criminal gang.

The following day, shortly after noon, officers spotted an outstanding suspect at Lincoln and Pine Street and arrested him for his involvement in the assault on Lincoln and Michigan the previous day, Fabrega said.

The suspect, identified as a 16-year-old male Hispanic, was transported to a local juvenile detention facility and booked for attempted murder, criminal threats, participation in a street criminal gang and other additional related charges, Fabrega said.

Anyone having additional information should call the Robbery-Homicide Unit of the Santa Monica Police Department at 310-458-8451.

Callers who wish to remain anonymous may also call the We-Tip national hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463).

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