Two admitted Carpas gang members will receive probation and credit for time served in Santa Barbara County Jail after pleading no contest to assault charges related to a November 2010 beating of a 16-year-old Rincon High School student in Carpinteria.
Eric Arroyo, 18, who will be deported after he gets out of jail, will be placed on three years of felony probation and has to register as a gang member. He pleaded no contest Monday morning to assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, along with two additional special allegations.
Luis Perez, 18, pleaded to assault with a deadly weapon, but will receive a similar sentence. He was the most culpable in the attack, it was alleged, having used a souvenir mini baseball bat to attack the victim, causing serious injuries to his eyes. Perez's family has since moved out of Santa Barbara County, and he will not live here when he's released. His sentencing is set for August 22 to give time for the probation department to prepare a report.
The two both have been in jail since the incident, and received credit for that time. If either violate their probation, they could be looking at 17 years in state prison. A third person, a juvenile, was also prosecuted in juvenile court, but the proceedings were not public.
According to authorities, the three beat the victim unconscious as he walked home from school on November 4. He was taken to the hospital. The three attackers were arrested the following day.
In a powerful and emotional statement to Judge Frank Ochoa on Monday, the mother of the victim, Oralia Mendez, said the attack was “going to mark us for the rest of our lives.” She said through an interpreter that her son has stopped going to school. “I’ve been destroyed as a mother,” she said. “My son, everything was stolen from him...his inner safety, because he no longer is the child he was before.”
Ochoa told the woman he was sorry her son was victimized. “I hope he recovers and has a successful life,” he said. “He certainly deserves that.”