Two teen boys charged after sucker-punch death of California student

Two teen boys are charged with assault after California middle school student, 13, died a week after he was sucker-punched and hit his head on a concrete pillar as he fell to the ground

  • Two teenagers will face prosecution over the death of a student at Landmark Middle School in California
  • Both boys – who have not been publicly named – have been charged with assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury
  • The 13-year-old victim known only as Diego was sucker-punched during a schoolyard attack on September 16
  • Cellphone video of the fight shows Diego being punched in the face and hitting a concrete pillar headfirst after he fell backwards
  • Diego was rushed to hospital in a critical condition, and died on Tuesday – eight days after the attack 

Two teenagers have been formally charged following the death of a 13-year-old school boy in California. 

The male teens – who have not been named because they are underage – are alleged to have assaulted the boy at Landmark Middle School in in Moreno Valley on September 16. 

The student – known only as Diego – died in hospital on Tuesday night, eight days after he was sucker-punched at school.

While the two alleged assailants had already been taken into custody over the incident, they have now been charged with assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury. 

The news was announced Thursday by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. 

Two teenage boys have been charged in relation to the death of a Landmark Middle School student named Diego (pictured). The 13-year-old was sucker-punched during the attack on September 16. He died in hospital on Thursday 


Cellphone video of the harrowing fight at Landmark Middle School was published on the internet, and shows two students – believed to be those who have been charged- viciously attacking Diego 

‘As with any case, should we receive updated information or evidence, we can amend to add, change, or file different charges,’ a DA spokesperson said in an e-mail obtained by KTLA.  

The two boys remain in custody at Riverside County Juvenile Hall. 

Cellphone video of the harrowing fight at Landmark Middle School was published on the internet, and shows two students – believed to be those who have been charged – viciously attacking Diego.  

Diego was hit by one boy in the face then punched in the side of the head by another. In the impact Diego fell backwards and hit his head against a concrete pillar. 

The Moreno Valley Sheriff’s Office announced Diego’s death on Wednesday. 

‘The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is saddened to share the 13-year-old victim from Landmark Middle School was pronounced clinically dead last night as a result of injuries sustained in the attack on Monday, September 16, 2019,’ the announcement said. 

‘Rigorous medical intervention and treatment efforts at an area hospital were unsuccessful,’ the post added. 

Diego’s family plans to donate his organs ‘to transform this tragedy into the gift of life for another child’.  

The Moreno Valley Sheriff’s Office announced Diego’s death on Wednesday saying: ‘Rigorous medical intervention and treatment efforts at an area hospital were unsuccessful’

Classmates at Landmark Middle School say Diego was bullied including on social media. They say violence is a problem at the school 

Deputies were called to the school at about 1.10pm on September 16 and Diego was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

The incident has sparked outrage in the community, particularly among parents over the school’s handling of bullying among students. 

The school administrators said the two students arrested for the assault were honors students. To be in the honor student program students weren’t allowed to have behavior problems like bullying.

Classmates of Diego told KTLA that he was previously bullied including on social media. Students say that violence is an ongoing problem at the school. 

‘It’s really tough because there’s so many fights here, and they don’t do anything about it,’ student Crystal Rodriguez said. ‘The security’s all over the school, but they take forever to come.’  

One law enforcement official said there were no red flags as to why Diego was bullied and attacked. 

The school district has said it hired behavior specialists and will work more with mental health experts and services this year in light of the incident. Crisis counselors are also available for students and staff. 

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