13-Year-Old Boy Dies a Week After Being Sucker-Punched in California

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
September 25, 2019 Updated: September 25, 2019

A 13-year-old boy died in the hospital after being punched during a fight at a Moreno Valley middle school in California, said Riverside County Sheriff’s Department officials.

The boy, identified only as “Diego” by KTLA, was injured in the assault on Sept. 16 at Landmark Middle School.

After he was hospitalized in critical yet stable condition, Diego was “pronounced clinically dead last night as a result of injuries sustained in the attack,” officials said in a Facebook post.

Two 13-year-old boys were arrested in connection with the incident. It was apparently captured on video, triggering community-wide outrage.

Girl dies when snow fort collapses
A stock photo of police tape (Larry W. Smith/Getty Images)

Those teens are in custody in juvenile hall and will be prosecuted, sheriff’s officials said.

“Rigorous medical intervention and treatment efforts at an area hospital were unsuccessful,” sheriff’s officials said. “The Sheriff’s Department joins the community in mourning the loss of this young man.”

The video showed the teen being hit in the face by one boy while the other sucker-punched him in the side of the head. Diego then fell and hit his head against a pillar, Fox6 reported.

The boy who hit Diego then rushed over to hit him on the ground, according to the report.

Epoch Times Photo
Landmark Middle School, seen above (Google Street View)

Classmates said that Diego was bullied in the past, adding that violence has been a problem at the school, the station reported.

The office said that further details about the incident won’t be released due to the age of the suspects.

“Violence in the communities served by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department will not be tolerated, especially involving our youth,” said the sheriff’s office, adding that people with information about the case should call Investigator Joshua Manjarrez at 951-955-2777 or Investigator John Tometich at 951-486-6700.

Facts About Crime in the United States

Violent crime in the United States has fallen sharply over the past 25 years, according to both the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) (pdf).

The rate of violent crimes fell by 49 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the FBI’s UCR, which only reflects crimes reported to the police.

The violent crime rate dropped by 74 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the BJS’s NCVS, which takes into account both crimes that have been reported to the police and those that have not.

The FBI recently released preliminary data for 2018. According to the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January to June 2018, violent crime rates in the United States dropped by 4.3 percent compared to the same six-month period in 2017.

While the overall rate of violent crime has seen a steady downward drop since its peak in the 1990s, there have been several upticks that bucked the trend. Between 2014 and 2016, the murder rate increased by more than 20 percent, to 5.4 per 100,000 residents, from 4.4, according to an Epoch Times analysis of FBI data. The last two-year period that the rate soared so quickly was between 1966 and 1968.

Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.