A half-dozen suspects ranging in age from 15 to 19 were in custody Wednesday for allegedly assaulting and robbing a teenager at a South Bay restaurant last week, leaving him with a broken wrist.
The crime at Cotixan Mexican Food in Chula Vista apparently was culmination of a dispute that began on social media, according to Chula Vista Police.
The 16-year-old victim was with his girlfriend at the eatery in the 1300 block of East Palomar Street when he was confronted, beaten and robbed last Thursday, Capt. Phil Collum said. The boy was unable to positively identify his assailants, the captain said.
“A video of the attack was shared on social media and gained significant media attention,” Collum said. “All six suspects were identified, in part, by the video.”
School officials and the management of the restaurant also helped police track down the suspects, according to Collum.
On Tuesday, investigators arrested San Diego residents Kent Bernard Pasunting, 18, and Aldrin Uy, 19, for allegedly taking part in the crime. Both had attended Mark Twain High, a continuation school with a campus at Morse High School.
The other four suspects, who range in age from 15 to 17, were taken into custody Wednesday morning. All of them attended Morse High School prior to being suspended following the fracas at the restaurant. Their names were withheld because they are minors.
The crime “appeared to be related to an ongoing online dispute between the victim and one of the juvenile attackers,” Collum said. “The dispute began last month, when the victim and suspect got into a heated exchange on social media over comments made to one of the victim’s friends.”
— City News Service