Two 13-year-old boys have been arrested on suspicion of assault after a violent incident at a Moreno Valley middle school sent one of their fellow students to the hospital, authorities said Tuesday.
The victim, also a 13-year-old boy who attended the Landmark Middle School, remained in critical condition, Riverside County Deputy Sheriff Robyn Flores said.
Deputies responded to the campus around 1 p.m. Monday after receiving a report of a fight between two boys. Investigators later determined that the incident had been an assault, Flores said.
A video that surfaced on social media shows two boys apparently speaking before one of them hits the other in the face. A third person’s fist subsequently appears in the shot and strikes the victim on the other side of his face. The victim then falls and hits his head on a pillar before the boy who threw the initial punch strikes him again in the head, video shows.
The footage, which ends with the victim on the ground near a doorway, shows at least six other students watching as the attack happened.
Flores indicated that detectives were aware of that video and encouraged anyone with possible additional recordings of the attack to contact authorities.
The two students believed to be responsible have been arrested and booked into the Riverside County Juvenile Hall on suspicion of assault likely to produce great bodily injury, officials said.
Authorities have not disclosed any details about what might have triggered the altercation.
“I’m really scared for my grandchild that goes here,” Teresa Cortez said. “I really am, because I’ve heard about too many fights that are happening.”
She said there needs to be more consequences for those involved, and that the school should have additional security.
A number of staffers came to the aid of the victim in Monday’s attack, said Anahi Velasco, a spokeswoman for the Moreno Valley Unified School District.
Velasco said staffers have been briefed on the incident. The school has been implementing precautionary steps after a fight that occurred on campus the previous school year, Velasco added. She could not provide further details about that fight.