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Hate Crime: Hispanic Gang Members Suspected of Driving Black Family Straight Out of Compton

Suspects Aguilar (left) and Marquez (Booking photos courtesy LASD)
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Two Hispanic men have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in a series of hate crimes aimed at driving an African American family out of their Compton home.

The alleged hate crimes began on December 31, 2012, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, when one of the male victims was on his way home on foot in Compton. The victim says he was approached by a black SUV carrying four Hispanic males who identified themselves to him as local gang members.

The gang members told the man he and his family were not permitted to live in the area because of their race. Additionally, the men in the vehicle shouted out racial epithets and threats of violence at the man, who feared for his life and began to run towards his home. However, the man was chased by the gang members who ultimately got out of the SUV and beat the victim with metal pipes.

One of the suspects, 21-year-old Efren Marquez, allegedly pointed a gun at the victim and threatened to shoot him while he was allegedly being beaten with a metal pipe by 19-year-old Jeffrey Aguilar, according to the LASD.

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Though the suspects took off in the SUV, Marquez and Aguilar returned to the victim's home about a half-hour later, only they were reportedly armed with handguns and joined by an estimated 15 to 20 other gang members. They surrounded the home where the victim lives with other adults and one child. The group of gang members shouted insults and racial epithets at the home, including using the "n-word," says the LASD, and told the family they could not live in the neighborhood. Someone threw a beer bottle through the living room window.

For the rest of the day, the suspects drove past the home, taunting the family.

Marquez and Aguilar were arrested January 24, and charged with a Hate Crime Committed for the Purpose of Violation of Civil Rights with Ability to Commit Violent Injury on Another and are being held in lieu of $95,000 bail. Aguilar is a resident of Compton and Marquez is a resident of Riverside County.

The LASD add that while executing a search warrant stemming from the investigation in Compton, deputies were assaulted by a male teen Hispanic who is allegedly also a gang member. The minor fought with deputies and attempted to forcefully remove a deputy’s gun from his holster. That suspect was also arrested and booked at a local juvenile detention center, and is considered a third arrest affiliated with this case.

The LASD says they are working to identify other suspects in this hate crime.