Gang members convicted of Nipomo beating
September 7, 2016
A San Luis Obispo jury convicted two gang members last week of multiple crimes stemming from a Jan. 2015 beating of a non-gang member in Nipomo. The convictions included charges of assault with a deadly shoe.
Then on Tuesday, the defendants admitted to beating the victim for the benefit of their gang. The gang enhancements will add prison time to their pending sentences, according to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office.
On Jan. 22, 2015, a Nipomo man was driving in the 200 block of South Oaglen Avenue when a group of men tossed beer on his car. The victim then stopped the car, got out and was assaulted by the men, according to the county sheriff’s office.
Sheriff’s deputies found the victim with serious head and face injuries. Prosecutors say he was repeatedly kicked and punched.
Deputies arrested at least three suspects, two of whom recently stood trial. One of the defendants, Javier Chang, 20, was arrested twice for offenses relating to the beating. Sheriff’s officials said Chang tossed the beer at the victim’s vehicle.
On Sept. 1, jurors convicted Chang and Noe Leon, 24, of felony assault with a deadly weapon — a shoe — and felony aggravated assault. The jury also convicted Leon of felony dissuading a witness.
Leon threatened the victim by telling him matters would get worse for him and his family if he reported the beating to the police, according to the district attorney’s office.
On Tuesday, Chang and Leon admitted to Judge John Trice the assault was done for the benefit of a criminal street gang. Also at the hearing Tuesday, Chang pleaded no contest to another charge of assault with a deadly weapon — a bottle. The jury failed to reached a verdict on that charge.
Sentencing for both defendants is scheduled for Oct. 25. Chang and Leon are currently being held without bail.