The San Bruno Police Department said that three people have been arrested on charges of kidnapping and violent assault after a teenage boy was discovered in the bedroom closet of a 15-year-old girl at a home in California.
The incident unfolded on Aug. 22. The teen went to the police and said that he was held against his will, assaulted, and threatened by the suspects after visiting a female friend at her house.
“Three of the family members became irate and started assaulting the male juvenile victim. These family members ultimately restrained the victim using rope, held him against his will, assaulted him multiple times, and even threatened to kill him,” San Bruno Police Department Lieutenant Ryan Johansen said in a video statement.
The suspects, who were described as of Hispanic descent, also allegedly used racial slurs when speaking to the teen, who is black, and the teen said he thought race was a motivating factor in what transpired.
The teen was eventually released and went to a hospital to get treatment for non-life-threatening injuries, following which he reported the alleged crimes to the police.
A search warrant was obtained and executed, and police discovered evidence to support the teen’s claims.
The suspects were booked on “numerous felony charges,” Johansen said, including kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, and criminal threats.
The suspects were identified as the girl’s parents, Luisander Suarez and Haydee Arguello, and her stepfather Wilfredo Amaya.
The girl’s sister, Belkys Gomez, told KGO that the family thought the boy broke into the home and acted in self-defense because the teen boy started assaulting the girl’s stepfather.
“They were so scared because they found someone in the closet. They jumped because everyone was sleeping and this guy started kicking my stepfather and trying to kill him,” she said.
Another sister, Katherine Gomez, said that the teen punched the girl’s mother.
“He punched her and then my step-dad, of course, is not going to let anyone hit his wife. 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,” she said. She also said that the three adults did not hurt the boy and did not use racial slurs.
A neighbor told the broadcaster that he could hear the boy screaming. Child Protective Services, meanwhile, took over custody of the 15-year-old girl.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the department at 650-616-7100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crime declined in the first half of 2018 compared to the first half of 2017, the FBI said in February. Preliminary statistics show nearly all offenses in the violent crime category declined. Robbery offenses decreased 12.5 percent, murder and non-negligent manslaughter offenses decreased 6.7 percent, and aggravated assault offenses declined 2 percent, the agency said. Rapes, however, increased by 0.6 percent.
When comparing data from the first six months of 2018 with the first six months of 2017, all property crime categories showed a decrease. Burglaries were down 12.7 percent, larceny-thefts decreased 6.3 percent, and motor vehicle thefts declined 3.3 percent.
The FBI previously said that both violent crime and property crime decreased in 2017, the last year that full statistics are available for, compared to 2016. Overall violent crime decreased 0.2 percent from 2016 to 2017, while property crime decreased 3 percent during that time, the agency said in September 2018, releasing data from the previous year.
The figures were compiled from more than 13,000 law enforcement agencies around the United States that submitted their crime data to the FBI.
The full 2018 crime report will be released later this year.