A 15-year-old baseball player in California is in stable but serious condition after being brutally beaten while walking home from a game last Thursday, according to a report.
Evan Jimenez, a freshman pitcher and left fielder on the junior varsity team at San Pedro (Calif.), was walking home after a rout of Gardena when he was confronted by two men in an alley near his home, the Los Angeles Times reported. One asked where he was from, according to the Times. The teen, possibly sensing trouble, said he wasn’t involved with any gangs, Sgt. Ricky Osburn of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Lomita station told the Times.
Within seconds, one of the men smashed a liquor bottle over Jimenez’s head before beating him. The teenager had brain swelling and fractures to his jaw and face and was unconscious for several days. On Monday, he was listed in “stable but serious” condition at Harbor UCLA Medical Center, Osburn told the Times.
Jimenez had been walking a friend home shortly before the attack. Investigators think Jimenez may have found himself caught up in a gang initiation ritual, Osburn told the Times.
“Wrong place. Wrong time,” Osburn said Monday. “He has no criminal history. We’ve had no contact with him. Just seems like a good, normal teenage kid.”
Jimenez regained consciousness Monday and started breathing without the aid of machines.
In a Facebook post published Sunday night, Evan’s mother said her son had been placed in a medically induced coma but was able to respond to certain stimuli.
Osburn told the Times the attackers may have been trying to earn membership in a local street gang called Rancho San Pedro, as the gang’s graffiti marked the alleyway where Jimenez was beaten.
A GoFundMe page designed on helping with Jimenez’s medical expenses had raised over $90,000 by Tuesday morning.