|For Immediate Release
Case # 12CF2949
October 10, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
GANG MEMBER CHARGED WITH ATTACKING YOUNG BOY ON HIS WAY TO SOCCER PRACTICE ON SANTA ANA PARK TRAIL
SANTA ANA – A gang member has been charged with attacking a 10-year-old boy who was on his way to soccer practice by grabbing him on a park trail and smelling the victim’s arm. Victor Joseph Espinoza, 55, Santa Ana, has been charged with one felony count each of false imprisonment and street terrorism with sentencing enhancements for committing a crime for the benefit of a criminal street gang and a prior strike conviction for street terrorism in 2007. If convicted, Espinoza faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. The People will be requesting that the defendant be held on $250,000 bail at his arraignment today, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
At approximately 7:20 pm on Oct. 4, 2012, 10-year-old John Doe and his 19-year-old female cousin were walking near to John Doe’s soccer practice on a bike trail by Delhi Park in Santa Ana. Espinoza is accused of approaching John Doe and asking the victim whether he wanted to see Espinoza’s gang tattoo. Espinoza is accused of claiming his gang, then grabbing and smelling the victim’s arm.
The victim’s cousin screamed for the defendant to let John Doe go. The victim broke free, ran to the soccer field with his cousin, and told his soccer coach what had happened. His coach ran down the bike trail looking for the assailant.
The defendant is accused of being tackled by the soccer coach, escaping, and hiding under a tree in the backyard of a nearby house. Espinoza is accused of being located by Santa Ana Police Department officers, who investigated this case.
Deputy District Attorney Rahul Gupta of the TARGET Unit is prosecuting this case.