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He suffered burns to his eyes.
"It demonstrates what they're capable of and why we have to have zero tolerance with these gang members and their criminal activities," said L.A. County Sheriff's Department Capt. James Hellmold.
Even residents hardened by crime and gang violence said the incident was one of the worst things they've ever seen.
"They shouldn't do that to a kid," said Willowbrook resident Vicky Wiey.
"I think they need to be hung, and never get out of jail. They can kill that boy with that spray paint," Chevy Mack, another local resident.
Some people were afraid to talk to Eyewitness News because they said gang members patrol the streets. The few that talked said they're horrified but not surprised this happened.
"They don't care about little boys or nothing. They care about doing drugs and everything. They're fighting, killing kids and people," said Willowbrook resident Maria Luna.
A 15-year-old was arrested and believed to be the one who actually sprayed the boy. He is charged with assault with a caustic chemical, kidnapping and felony vandalism.
Deputies are still looking for the second suspect. He was only described as being 15 to 17 years of age.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Century Station at (323) 568-4800.