Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
JUVENILE GANG MEMBER CONVICTED AS AN ADULT SENTENCED TO 18 YEARS IN PRISON FOR HITTING 15-YEAR-OLD RIVAL IN HEAD WITH BASEBALL BAT
SANTA ANA – A juvenile gang member was sentenced today to 18 years in state prison for attempting to murder a 15-year-old rival by crushing his skull with an aluminum baseball bat. Salvador Morales Gallardo, now-19, Orange, was direct filed as an adult and found guilty by a jury Jan. 24, 2011, of one felony count each of attempted murder, aggravated assault, and street terrorism with sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a deadly weapon, causing great bodily injury, and criminal street gang activity.
On Dec. 16, 2008, Gallardo, then-17 years old, was in a park in Orange and became involved in a verbal confrontation with 15-year-old John Doe because the defendant and victim were members of rival gangs. Gallardo then left the park and met up with several friends.
Later that day, Gallardo was sitting in a car with his friends in a residential area and observed John Doe in the neighborhood. The defendant got out of the vehicle armed with an aluminum baseball bat and began to approach the victim. John Doe attempted to run away and escape, but he tripped and fell. Gallardo stood over the victim, yelled the name of his own gang, and then violently struck the victim in the head with the baseball bat. Gallardo then fled the scene.
John Doe’s skull was crushed from the force of the impact and he suffered bleeding in his brain. The victim narrowly survived after undergoing emergency neurosurgery.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office charged Gallardo as an adult based on the nature and severity of his crime. Had Gallardo been prosecuted as a juvenile, his maximum sentence would only have been eight years in custody.
Deputy District Attorney Troy Pino of the Gang Unit prosecuted this case.