Regional
5:19 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Las Cruces Gang Beating Video Lands Two In Jail

Las Cruces – A video posted on the Internet showing two adults and a juvenile physically assaulting a 14-year-old Las Cruces girl, in what is believed to be part of a gang initiation, has landed two of the assailants in jail.

Jimmy Lugo Jr., 25, and Pedro Barraza, 20, are charged with one count each of child abuse and two counts of conspiracy. A 16-year-old boy also took part in the beating though charges against him are pending at this time.

The 79 second video came to the attention of Las Cruces Police shortly after the 14-year-old girl was taken to a local hospital by her mother. The girl, who was taken to the hospital on Nov. 19, sustained several injuries to her face and head. In the video the girl is seen being punched, kicked and stomped more than 80 times by the three suspects.

The girl's injuries were not life-threatening and the video appears to show her willingly participate in the beating.

LCPD School Resource Officers and members of the department's Gang Unit helped identify the suspects after the video was posted on YouTube. The incident is believed to have occurred in a parking lot near the 1400 block of Almendra Street.

A relative of Barraza is believed to have shot the video which was posted on YouTube with Barraza's username. The video has since been removed from the video-sharing website.

Another girl is seen in the video watching the attack but not physically participating in the assault. Charges against the 16-year-old who participated in the assault, the girl who accompanied the group and the boy who videotaped the beating are possible.

Lugo and Barraza are being held at the Dona Ana County Detention Center with cash-only bonds set at $40,000.