19-year-old gets 8 years for hate crime against special-needs student


A 19-year-old was sentenced to eight years in prison for beating a special-needs teenager after school earlier this year.

Bryan Blancas of Long Beach admitted in court Monday that he assaulted the boy and that the assault was a hate crime and committed to benefit a criminal street gang, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Blancas had initially been charged with three other misdemeanors and two felony counts, including assault with a deadly weapon, violating the boy’s civil rights and dissuading a witness by force or threat. Those charges were dropped as part of the plea deal, said Venusse Navid, a spokesperson for the L.A. County district attorney’s office.

On May 15, Blancas, who is Latino, and a group of his friends confronted a 16-year-old African American boy after school at Poly Academy of Achievers and Leaders. When the boy tried to run away, Blancas knocked him to the ground and punched and kicked him in the head, face and torso, according to prosecutors.

Video of the incident shows several teenagers attacking the 16-year-old boy, kicking and punching him on the ground as he tries repeatedly to get up. The boy’s mother, Rasheena McCord, told KTLA that her son was a special-needs student and was not involved in gangs.

“That’s not what you want to see,” McCord said. “You don’t want to see your kid being jumped.”


McCord said the young men were Latino and asked her son “where are you from?” before beating him.

Blancas was arrested several days after the attack. Three others were charged in connection with the incident, but they have not been identified by officials because they are minors, Navid said.