A teenage baseball player who was brutally beaten in what police have described as a gang initiation in San Pedro last month has been released from the hospital, a family friend said.
Evan Jimenez, 15, suffered brain swelling and a broken jaw after two men confronted him in a San Pedro alleyway, according to police. The assailants smashed a liquor bottle against Evan's head and proceeded to pummel him, investigators said.
The teen was heavily sedated and remained unconscious for several days after the attack, but he was finally released from the hospital on April 22, according to Tammy Meyers, a family friend who has been helping raise funds to pay Evan's medical bills.
"He's moving forward every day. Always has a smile on his face, so hopefully, it just progresses more and more," she said.
Evan does not remember the assault, according to Meyers, who said he was first informed of the attack while recuperating in the hospital last week.
"He was in complete shock," Meyers said. "He couldn't believe it."
Earlier this month, investigators said they believed Evan had been jumped by two men trying to earn membership in the Rancho San Pedro street gang. The alleyway where Evan was beaten is lined with the gang's graffiti.
Evan, a freshman at San Pedro High School who pitches for the junior varsity team, had been walking a friend home shortly before the attack.
"Wrong place. Wrong time," Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Ricky Osburn said earlier this month. "He has no criminal history. We've had no contact with him. Just seems like a good, normal teenage kid."
Calls to the sheriff's Lomita Station, which is investigating the case, and to a spokesman for the Sheriff's Department seeking updates were not immediately returned.
Meyers said that although the family is thrilled to have the teen home, Evan is still suffering from short-term memory loss and struggling to walk because of his myriad injuries.
"He's got a long, long road," she said.