Man Charged With Forcing 2 to Jump Off 200-Foot Cliff

An 18-year-old Carson man has been charged with attempted murder and kidnaping for allegedly forcing two youths to jump off a 200-foot cliff in San Pedro earlier this week.

David Salanoa also will face criminal allegations that he threatened the pair with a knife and caused them great bodily injury, according to a clerk in San Pedro Municipal Court.

Both Rodel Panis, 16, and Evan Rivera, 22, survived the fall, but were taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in fair condition.

According to police, Salanoa apparently believed that Panis and Rivera were responsible for the suicide of Salanoa's 14-year-old brother, who shot himself in the head on Dec. 20 in front of Rivera and several other witnesses.

Salanoa and an unidentified accomplice allegedly kidnaped Panis and Rivera, drove them to the 1000 block of Paseo del Mar in San Pedro on Monday evening and ordered them to choose between jumping off the cliff or being shot in the head. The victims told police their assailants said they had a gun, but neither saw one.

The pair chose to jump. Although seriously injured, Panis managed to find his way along the base of the cliff and up a steep path to a house where celebrants at a Christmas party organized a search party for Rivera, who remained semiconscious below.

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