A 15-year-old girl’s mother, father and stepfather are facing allegations of a possible hate crime after police said they kidnapped and assaulted a boy they found in the teen's bedroom.
The girl’s biological father Luisandor Suarez, her mom Haydee Arguello and stepfather Wilfredo Amaya are now facing numerous charges including kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and making criminal threats.
Lt. Ryan Johansen of the San Bruno Police Department said the 17-year-old African-American victim came into the police station at 12:38 p.m. Thursday afternoon to report that he had been forcibly held against his will while visiting with a female acquaintance.
“The subsequent investigation revealed that the victim was visiting a juvenile female acquaintance at her home when members of the female’s family arrived,” Johansen said in a video statement. “Three of the family members became irate, and started assaulting the male juvenile victim.”
The boy had apparently been hiding in the closet when the family members discovered him in the room around 2:30 a.m., local station KGO reports.
The victim told police the trio held him against his will while they continued to attack him and yell multiple racial slurs.
“These family members ultimately restrained the victim using rope, held him against his will, assaulted him multiple times and even threatened to kill him,” Johansen said. “After a period of time, the suspects released the juvenile victim and he fled the scene.”
The victim later told police that he believed his race was a motivating factor in the attack. All three suspects are of Hispanic decent, police said.
However, family members of the three suspects deny the attack was racially motivated and instead contend that the parents had been acting in self-defense, believing the boy was an intruder.
“They were so scared because they found someone in the closet,” the 15-year-old’s older sister, Belkys Gomez told the local station. “They jumped because everyone was sleeping and this guy started kicking my stepfather and trying to kill him.”
Katherine Gomez, who was also in the home at the time, claimed the victim had gotten physically violent with the 15-year-old’s mother during the exchange.
“He punched her and then my stepdad, of course, is not going to let anyone hit his wife,” she said. “They tried to stop him and he was acting very violent so they grabbed a rope to try to tie him down and ask him why he was at the house.”
Police, however, felt there was enough evidence to arrest the three family members involved in the incident. They are being held at the San Mateo County Jail.
The teenage victim was treated for “non-life threatening” injuries at a local hospital and has been released, police said.
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