A 14-year-old boy was beaten with baseball bats and stabbed over the weekend outside Manassas Mall, and two men have been charged in what police say was the gang-related attack, Prince William County officials said yesterday.
The youth, who suffered brain hemorrhaging, skull fractures and a knife wound to the back, has been hospitalized at Inova Fairfax Hospital since Saturday, according to an affidavit for a search warrant filed by police. His condition has been upgraded from serious to fair, and he is expected to survive, police said.
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The victim, a ninth-grader, has been associated with the South Side Locos gang, said Sgt. Dennis Mangan, a Prince William police spokesman. The suspects are believed to be members of the rival gang Sureno-13, a clique of Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, Mangan said. The victim and suspects all live in Manassas.
Like the rest of the region, Prince William has experienced a sharp rise in violence among Latino gangs. The attack on Saturday marked the latest outbreak in Manassas. In late February, another 14-year-old boy was beaten with baseball bats and stabbed by four teenagers in a rival gang in the Irongate neighborhood. In another incident there, an MS-13 gang member was executed by suspected gang members in a townhouse last August, police said.
A machete attack last May on a 16-year-old Fairfax County boy that severed several of his fingers, and a gang-related slaying days later in Herndon, rekindled public outrage over gang violence and generated additional government funding to fight the problem. Authorities believe MS-13 is the area's dominant street gang, with more than 2,000 members, and much of the recent gang-related violence has been attributed to it.
The fight on Saturday between the 14-year-old and a group of suspected gang members started inside the mall. The youth tried to leave and was beaten in front of the Hecht's department store about 8:20 p.m., Mangan said.
Shortly after the attack, authorities located two of the suspects, along with the Nissan Altima they were seen driving, Mangan said.
Joel Martinez-Alvarez, 18, and Gerardo Dominguez-Aviles, 22, both of the 10200 block of Carmel Way, were arrested on charges of aggravated malicious wounding. They are being held without bond in the county jail.
According to the affidavit, Martinez-Alvarez told police that he beat the 14-year-old with an aluminum bat. He and Dominguez-Aviles then went to their home and placed the bats they used under Dominguez-Aviles's bed, the affidavit stated.
In addition to the bats, officers were looking for chains, knives or other items that may have been used to stab or cut.