California officers arrested for abusing kids at Camp SLO

August 6, 2015

Boot_Camp_(2001)_logoSan Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s detectives arrested four Southern California police officers who are accused of physically abusing a total of 15 teens at a boot camp held at Camp San Luis Obipso in May.

The arrests occurred on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to a sheriff’s office news release. The teen victims are all from Southern California, and they range in age from 12 to17. Nine of the teens are male and six are female.

The news release did not provide details about the alleged abuse. But, an attorney representing most of the victims has stated the abuse included officers punching children in the head, stepping on their hands and backs during push-ups and beating them in a dark room.

“According to the teenagers, they were given towels to clean the blood off themselves prior to exiting the room after the beatings,” Southern Califonia attorney Gregory Owen said a statement released in June. “One child suffered broken fingers after an officer allegedly stood on the child’s hands.”

The Leadership Empowerment and Discipline (LEAD) Boot Camp took place May 17-24. It is an event conducted by the Huntington Park and South Gate police departments.

The boot camp began with one of the teens being placed in handcuffs for the entire 4.5 hour bus ride to Camp San Luis Obispo, Owen said at a press conference. Owen also alleges the children were threatened that they would be hurt if they told anyone what was done to them at the camp.

Two of the officers, known as the “Gomez brothers,” came within view of some of the teens while they were being interview by sheriff’s detectives after the boot camp. The Gomez brothers intimidated the children into not providing full accounts of what occurred, Owen stated.

Many of the teens were suffering from nightmares and trauma because the Gomez brothers were out on the streets, Owen stated in June. The children feared the officers would come after them, Owen said.

Most of the victims identified the Gomez brothers as the officers primarily responsible for the abuse, Owen said.

South Gate officers Carlos Manuel Gomez-Marquez, 31, and Edgar Yovany Gomez, 35, are two of the policemen charged in the case, according to the SLO County Sheriff’s Office. Gomez and Gomez-Marquez were arrested on felony charges of wilful cruelty to a child, criminal threats and criminal conspiracy, as well as on misdemeanor charges of criminal battery and abuse under color of authority.

Huntington Park officers Marissa Elizabeth Larios, 36, and Patrick Marvin Nijland, 47, are also charged with felony wilful cruelty to a child and misdemeanor criminal battery and abuse under color of authority. Larios additionally faces a felony criminal conspiracy charge.

Each of the officers posted bail before sheriff’s detectives served arrest warrants this week. The officers were released on $20,000 bonds.

The sheriff’s office began investigating the case on May 28. The investigation began after the sheriff’s office received a report of allegations from the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.

The bootcamp is part of a 20-week LEAD program that is marketed for at-risk youth, Owen sated. The program is designed to develop leadership and discipline, while offering guidance and support to reduce family conflict. It costs $400 per child.



  1. black sheep says:

    “The Leadership Empowerment and Discipline (LEAD) Boot Camp took place May 17-24”. These are people put in charge of children to teach them values that they didnt get/have. Not just one or two, but four uniformed police officers.(probably just the four that took the fall). I wouldn’t say for the most part, but there are some good leos out there who mean well and actually care about you or me. However this isn’t a case of just one bad apple, this is the tip of an iceburg and a perfect example of how crime is committed behind the color of law. quite tamely I might add. but lets give them a lighter bail/sentence because they were employed/paid to enforce the laws they broke. When you have corruption like we see, there is no law. This country needs change. Maybe this is why they took “to protect and serve” off there cars, for good reason.

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  2. 805code4 says:

    The accused officers are just as much of a flight risk as anyone else who breaks the law. Your assumption that they are a low flight risk simply because they were cops is naive to say the least. They were willing to break the law with violence already and threaten children with retaliaton. Of course Bail Bonds are to ensure the defendants return to court. I know this, but I’m pointing out the the bail amount is too low considering the threats and risks, and all the “professional courtesy” given to these violent criminals. These jerks need the same treatment everyone else gets.

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    • Scott says:

      The misconduct is so much worse than you know, case in point early today the US DOJ Office of the OIG had conducted an internal audit of the US DEA Program known as (DEA Confidential Source Program) the OIG confirmed the program was and is ripe with corruption by Special Agents and associates.

      The findings given to members of the House Judiciary Committee members John Conyers, MI and Chairman Jason Chatfetz-UT in short the report finds ” Massive abuses of corruption and misconduct within the DEA’s program and many of its top ranking superiors.

      Findings in short:
      Improper and Illegal accounting ? Money missing and unaccounted for ?
      DEA Special Agents were uncooperative and many were caught committing perjury in criminal cases. False evidence, conspiracy with local corrupt law enforcement, Special Agents too close to major cartels. Associating with known members of Organized Crime figures . The OIG were curtailed by agents and supervisors lying and concealing reports and records of millions of ” Informant Payments ” all unaccounted for ?

      The released interim report out today shows a practice and pattern of DEA and other local agencies compromised hundreds if not thousand of criminal cases Nation Wide both in Federal and State Courts.

      The report mostly “Classified” is to go before the committee soon, but what was uncovered is a system wide method of cooperativeness from Agents, Police Officers and other Law Enforcement Nation wide with the biggest problems in California. The SAC of the DEA which covers our county is under a probe as well since some of those involved have been in the “Past” with tow locally corrupt Narcotics officers. Cory Pierce and now A.J. Santana plus three others unnamed in the report.

      The now defunct program will no doubt uncover more corruption in the Central Coast of California, since millions of dollars vanished here, as well as thousands of weapons and drugs arrived on our central coast untouched ?

      (9) 9 Total Votes - 9 up - 0 down
      • mkaney says:

        Undoubtedly connected to the bogus panga boat catches.

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