Alleged gang member arrested in assault that left San Pedro high school student comatose
An alleged gang member was arrested Thursday in connection with a brutal assault that left a San Pedro teenager hospitalized and comatose earlier this year, authorities said.
Jaymel Williams, 20, was arrested early Thursday morning in Long Beach on suspicion of attempted murder in connection with the March 30 attack, according to Sgt. Ricky Osburn of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Lomita station.
Williams was believed to be a person of interest in the case for months, and was being held in San Bernardino County on unrelated charges. At some point, he was released, but probation officers and sheriff’s deputies found him Thursday morning, according to Osburn, who said he was arrested without incident.
Evan Jimenez, 15, suffered brain swelling and a broken jaw as a result of the attack, which left him hospitalized for weeks. Carl Capozzola, an attorney representing Jimenez’s family, said the victim’s mother was relieved by news of the arrest.
“She is very happy now that things have resulted in what she thinks is justice, what I think is justice for her son,” he said.
The case has been presented to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, and Williams is scheduled to appear in a Long Beach courtroom Tuesday, Osburn said.
Authorities said Evan was walking a female friend home hours after a baseball game when he was confronted by two men in an alley near his home. One smashed a liquor bottle against his head, the opening salvo in the beating, police said.
He was placed in a medically induced coma and remained unconscious for several days. Evan was released from the hospital in late April, a family friend previously told The Times.
Investigators initially believed the teenager was attacked as part of a gang initiation ritual. The area where the assault happened is known to be claimed by a local gang, Osburn previously said.
Osburn said detectives have since learned that the crime was not gang-motivated, despite Williams’ alleged affiliation with a Bloods set.
A second person of interest in the case has not been charged and is cooperating with investigators, Osburn said. In an email to a Times reporter earlier this year, the man, who asked not to be identified, insisted he did not take part in the attack and actually tried to stop Williams.
Jimenez is back in school, according to Capozzola.
“He’s doing much better, physically,” the attorney said. “He still has some problems with memory … but physically he’s doing better. He’s improving.”
Follow @JamesQueallyLAT for crime and police news in California.
The stories shaping California
Get up to speed with our Essential California newsletter, sent six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.