HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Police are still searching for answers as to what caused a group of teens to beat a man within inches of his life with skateboards.
The victim, a 25-year old man, was originally said to have been trying to break up a fight at Murdy Park in Huntington Beach, but the suspects are saying that they had acted in self-defense.
The victim allegedly ran from the fight and was chased to at a laundry mat, where the suspects reportedly proceeded to beat him with their skateboards.
The victim suffered a major brain injury and is fighting for his life at UCI Medical Center.
Four teenaged suspects, ages 14 to 16, are being held on attempted murder.
A number of other teens, who were involved in the original fight, appeared at the Hunting Beach Police Department to give their side of the story.
One teen alleges that he was stabbed by the victim with a screwdriver.
A 16-year-old friend of one of the boys in custody says he only acted to defend his friend from the victim.
“I swung the board, but I didn’t chase him down and brutally beat him,” the friend said. “I hit him once, just to try to help my homie from not getting stabbed. So I should be in custody not (my friend).”
David Castellanos, one of the boys involved in the melee, showed his wounds and bruises to detectives in Huntington Beach, which he alleges were caused by the victim, with a screwdriver.
Castellanos suggests that the victim is not innocent in the attack.
“I knew I got stabbed with a screwdriver, I knew he had a screwdriver, and I walked in the back, and I saw him and my friend Josh. They had had an altercation with them two,” Castellanos said. “And I knew he had the screwdriver, and he made contact with me and I just completely blacked out.”
The Hunting Beach Police Department is now seeking help from witnesses to try to shed some light on what happened.
“We are seeking the public’s help,” Lt. Mitch O’Brien of the Huntington Beach Police Department said. “People who saw what transpired in the park prior to our victim becoming involved, and what transpired that took it across the street, and happened inside the laundry mat.”