Two "persons of interest" are in police custody and are being questioned in the beating of a 14-year-old boy in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood that left him in a coma.
Brian DeLeon, a freshman at Phoenix Marine Academy, had reportedly been studying with his girlfriend last Tuesday night, Sept. 13, before he was hit in the head with a "bat or sledgehammer" in the 2900 block of West Bloomingdale Avenue during his walk home. DeLeon's wound was so substantial, police initially believed the boy had been shot when they found him sprawled on a sidewalk.
Sources told the Chicago Tribune Tuesday that members of the Maniac Latin Disciples brutally attacked DeLeon because they thought he belonged to the Spanish Cobras, a rival gang. Police, friends and family have all maintained that the boy was not in a gang.
(Scroll down to watch a video report on the attack., including reaction from the victim's family.)
The Chicago Tribune reports that DeLeon was taken to Children's Memorial Hospital, where he underwent surgeries to his brain.
DeLeon remains in a coma. His alma mater's principal, Harry Randell, at Yates Elementary, described the attack as "a devastating thing for us" and told NBC Chicago DeLeon is "one of our family members."
Residents of the area where DeLeon was found have said that gang presence has picked up in the neighborhood, and sources told the Tribune DeLeon was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. Police were hopeful last week that a surveillance camera near Mozart Drive and Cortland Street may have captured the attack's perpetrator or perpetrators leaving the scene.
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