Theft confrontation: Storekeeper, young boy attacked by gang members

May 03, 2000
Santa Paula Police Department
Santa Paula Police Department are investigating a gang attack at a local market when up to seven suspects threw beer and canned chili at a 12-year-old boy when he attempted to call for help as they beat his older brother in a fracas prompted when the storekeeper tried to stop a merchandise theft. According to SPPD Agent Dave Anderson, the incident occurred Sunday, April 30th at about 10 p.m. at Amigos Market, 431 Ojai Road.Officers had responded to a silent burglary alarm to the small neighborhood market and the store owner told them that six to seven gang members had entered the store to steal beer.When the unidentified 33-year-old store owner “confronted the subjects, he and his 12-year-old brother were attacked by the gang members,” said Agent Anderson.The victims told police that four to five suspects punched and kicked the store owner and one suspect threw a twelve-pack of beer and two cans of chili at the boy as he was calling police. . .the boy was struck in the upper body, “causing injury to the child,” Agent Anderson added.The suspects ran and were able to get away prior to the arrival of police.
Both the 12-year-old boy and his older brother refused medical treatment and their injuries were considered minor.Now, police are continuing the investigation and seeking the suspects for the crimes of strong arm robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.The family-operated market is a popular stop for neighborhood residents who were angered by the incident, especially the attack on the young boy. “They ganged up on the owner and the boy who was just trying to protect his brother,” said one nearby resident who asked not to be identified. “It was cowardly, a bunch of them picking on a kid like that and his brother, who was just trying to make a living. . .”Consider the weight of canned goods and beer, the boy could have been seriously injured, the man added. “He’s a good, brave boy like his older brother.”

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