Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Two Latinos guilty in hate crime assault

Two guilty in hate crime assault - SGVTribune.comBobby Perez

POMONA - Two reputed gang members are facing multiple life sentences for the attempted murders of two black victims based on their race, officials said Friday.

Bobby Perez, 22, of Hacienda Heights, and Jonathan Carrion, 21, of Baldwin Park, were convicted by a Pomona Superior Court jury on Friday of two counts each of attempted premeditated murder with special gang and hate crime allegations, El Monte police Detective Ralph Batres said.

The verdicts stem from a June 16, 2007, incident in which Perez and Carrion - members of the El Monte Flores gang - joined six to seven other fellow gang members and assaulted four mentally handicapped clients of the Bridges facility on Elliott Avenue in El Monte, Batres said.

The clients were coming back from a nearby Pizza Hut when they were attacked. Two of the unidentified victims, who were black, were stabbed in the back. A third Hispanic victim was kicked and a fourth Caucasian victim was also beat, Batres said.Jonathan Carrion

Witnesses told police the group of men were yelling out the El Monte Flores gang name and racial slurs during the attack.

The victims identified Perez and Carrion as the suspects who stabbed the two black victims, Batres said.

All of the victims eventually recovered from their injuries, he said.

In addition to the attempted murder verdicts, Carrion and Perez were also convicted on one count each of assault with a deadly weapon with special gang and hate crime allegations, and one count each of
felony battery also with special gang and hate crime allegations, Batres said.

They face multiple life terms when they are sentenced on Aug. 21.

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