The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against a Long Beach teen on Tuesday in connection with the stabbing and attempted robbery of an interracial gay couple in Belmont Shore last December.
Long Beach officials announced Friday that the 15-year-old was detained in an unrelated incident on June 24 by West Division officers who were dispatched to Pine Avenue and 16th Street regarding “a group of male subjects chasing another individual throughout the neighborhood,” according to a press release from the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD).
During their investigation of the juvenile—whose name was not released because he is underage—officers were able to connect him to the December 7, 2015 incident that authorities said was possibly motivated by hate.
The December attack and attempted robbery took place on the 200 block of St. Joseph Avenue on a late Monday night, officials said.
According to the victims, they were walking back to one of their cars parked on St. Joseph Avenue after dinner at St. and Second.
“We just had fun, having dinner and walking along St. Joseph,” said J.H. shortly after the incident, who is white and in his 50s. They had passed the meters on the street and were just getting close to the residential zone, when they saw two men, described as Hispanic males in their late teens or early 20s, on the opposite side of the street.
As the couple crossed the road to get to their car the suspects confronted them in the middle of the street and demanded money from them, J.H. said.
Soon after the couple refused to comply with their demands one member of the group lunged forward and attacked J.H.
“I was screaming while I was fighting to get on top [...] I was grabbing whatever I could: hair, eyes, because we were too close to punch each other,” said J.H. “These guys weren’t trying to give up.”
His partner J.W. was pushed away from J.H. and engaged by a second young male assailant.
“It’s pretty nuts—you wouldn’t think something like that would happen,” said J.W., who is black and in his late 30s. “Belmont Shore, with its restaurants and shops... It’s usually deemed pretty safe. But there are spots throughout Long Beach where people are getting beaten up and robbed.”
J.H. was stabbed twice in the chest and J.W. sustained a punctured lung, through a stab wound in the back.
As soon as the physical altercation began, J.H. said certain inflammatory statements were being repeated over and over, including “F-ck all ni--ers.”
“Personally, I feel there’s a strong possibility we were targeted from the get-go,” said J.W. “F-words and N-words were thrown around pretty quickly, and they were definitely directed at me. If it wasn’t the primary motivator behind the attack, it was definitely a secondary one.”
The suspects eventually ran from the scene once multiple neighbors exited their homes and made their presence known. No property was taken.
Detectives were able to identify the subject responsible from preserved evidence left at the scene of the stabbing, according to the release.
On June 28 LBPD robbery detectives presented the case to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, which then filed two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with a great bodily injury enhancement and two counts of attempted robbery against the suspect.
He was later transported to Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall, officials stated. The second suspect remains outstanding.
The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to call the Long Beach Police Robbery Detective D. Collier at 562.570.5537. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call 1.800.22-TIPS (8477), or text TIPLA plus your tip to 274637 (CRIMES), or visithttp://www.lacrimestoppers.org/