COMPTON (CBSLA.com) — Two Latino men suspected of being in a gang have been arrested for allegedly directing a series of hate crimes against an African-American family in Compton.
A statement issued by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) identified the suspects as 21-year-old Efren Marquez of Riverside County and 19-year-old Jeffrey Aguilar of Compton.
“These gang members believe that no one of any other race should live in that neighborhood apart from themselves so they began threatening and intimidating the family members,” said Deputy Aura Lidman of the LASD.
CBS2’s Cristy Fajardo reports that the alleged incidents began when the family moved into a home on 153rd Street. According to detectives, the gang members would drive by the house yelling racial slurs and threats.
Fajardo reports that the most serious of the incidents occurred on New Year’s Eve when the men allegedly struck a teenager with metal pipes just down the street from his home.
“At one point, one of the gang members allegedly pointed a gun to his head telling him that they would kill him if he and his family did not move out of the neighborhood,” Lidman said.
Deputies say the pair returned 30 minutes later with more than a dozen others and surrounded the house.
“One unidentified member of the group threw a large beer bottle through the front living room window, shattering the window,” the statement said.
Marquez and Aguilar were arrested Thursday and booked into the Compton Sheriff’s Station. Both are being held in lieu of $95,000 bail.
The Sheriff’s Department told Fajardo it made a third arrest while serving several search warrants on Thursday. That suspect had allegedly reached for a deputy’s gun.
Anyone with information about this case was asked to contact Sheriff’s Operation Safe Streets Bureau gang investigators at (310) 603-3100 or the Compton Sheriff’s Station at (310) 605-6500.