Six Asian American teen-agers are facing assault charges after a fight with several white students who reportedly had a bounty placed on their heads because they beat up an Asian American student, an Arcadia High School official said Friday.
Details surfaced several weeks ago after five juveniles and an 18-year-old were arrested outside Arcadia High School for fighting and aiming guns at white students and an assistant principal, said Don Cooke, the school's dean of discipline.
Szupu Cheng, 18, of Temple City, and five juveniles from Temple City, Arcadia and Rosemead, whose names have not been released, were charged with battery, assault with a deadly weapon and fighting in public, said Arcadia Detective Ron Seman.
Seman said he has found no evidence of the alleged bounty but that the investigation is continuing and more arrests may be pending. At least one of the arrested youths is associated with an Asian gang called Red Eagle, Seman said.
Meanwhile, one of the white students who allegedly was targeted by the Asian group has fled the state and is living with relatives at an undisclosed location, Cooke said.
Cooke said the school, which learned about the alleged bounty by interviewing students and receiving calls on a hot line, is taking the matter seriously.
Seman, who has spent the last three weeks investigating the case, said he has found no proof that the bounty offer was going to be carried out. "I think it was more of a scare tactic to get the white kids a little shook up. If a hard-core Asian gang wants to kill someone they go and execute them. They don't mess around."
Cooke said that racial tensions between whites and Asian Americans have been high in recent years, as the once mainly white suburb has seen large numbers of Asian immigrants move in. Asians make up 11,368 of Arcadia's 48,290 population, according to the 1990 U.S. Census.
At Arcadia High, Asian American youths have sparred with a group of white youths who dress in a punk style with black clothes, streaked hair and nose rings, Cooke said. The two sides have exchanged epithets and threats.
Trouble erupted at lunchtime Jan. 27, when the brother of the Asian American teen-ager who was reportedly beaten up last year got his friends to go to Arcadia High to retaliate, Cooke said.