Latino gang members accused of terrorizing Compton black family
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Two Latino gang members have been arrested on suspicion of hate crimes after allegedly waging a campaign to force a black family to move from Compton, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
The suspects allegedly beat a family member with metal pipes and gathered gang members in front of the family’s house to threaten them, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Jeffrey Aguilar, 19, of Compton, and Efren Marquez, 21, a resident of Riverside, were arrested Thursday.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detectives said the two also rode by the family’s house repeatedly yelling insults and threats and insisting that they move.
The confrontations allegedly began on Dec. 31, the day the family moved into a house on 153rd Street in Compton. That day, one member of the family, walking on the street, was confronted by four Latino gang members who drove up in a black SUV, according to a sheriff’s report.
They told the man that they were gang members and that his family was not allowed to live in their area because they were black, the report said. They shouted racial insults and violent threats until the man ran for home, according to the report. He was chased by the gang members, who then climbed from the SUV and began beating him with metal pipes, according to the report.
Marquez allegedly pointed a gun at the man, while Aguilar allegedly beat the victim with a pipe, the sheriff’s report said.
The gang members drove off, but returned to the family’s home accompanied by 15 to 20 more gang members who swore at the family, used racial insults and told them that blacks were not allowed in the neighborhood, authorities said. One gang member allegedly threw a beer bottle through the family’s front living room window.
Sheriff’s detectives have searched 11 locations and say an investigation into the attacks is continuing. During one search of a Compton residence Thursday, they arrested a juvenile gang member, who fought with a deputy and attempted to remove the deputy’s pistol.
Compton, with a population of about 97,000, was predominately black for many years. It has gone through enormous demographic change, and is now 65% Latino, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. The city is 32.9% African American.
-- Sam Quinones