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4 teens attack local elderly man

September 10, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
El Monte police are searching for four teenagers who attacked an elderly man and stole his cell phone.The assault occurred around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 3100 block of Lashbrook Avenue, along a popular exercise path in Lashbrook Park.

Four teenage boys, ages 15 to 18, attacked 70-year-old John Ming Tang and demanded money. His family says he wasn't carrying any money, just his cell phone.

"They kicked him all in the ribs and in the face area and it resulted in a lot of wounds," said Jeffrey Ung, the victim's grandson. "He has stitches above his eyes, in the back of his head, and the bridge of his nose."

Tang, who was badly beaten, suffered a blood clot near his brain. He remains hospitalized in stable condition in the intensive care unit at UC Irvine Medical Center.

"I saw my grandfather tear for the first time in the hospital because he himself can't understand why something like this would happen, and why anyone would ever assault an elderly man," said Ung.

El Monte police say they will canvass the neighborhood, going door-to-door looking for clues. They are confident in catching the four attackers.

One of the suspects is about 18 years old, 5 feet 3 inches and 210 pounds, according to Det. Ralph Batres of the El Monte Police Department.

Police say they have not received many reports of crimes in the area, but residents say they are just not being reported.

Tang's family says he was robbed about 10 years ago in the same area, and other elderly residents have been assaulted as well.

"An elderly woman in her 70s was groped here just recently. One was raped here but, of course, they go unreported," said Tianna Lau, the victim's daughter.

Police say there is little they can do if crimes are not reported.

But Ung says it is common among Asian families not to speak up about any problems.

"It's in their culture to remain quiet and just mind their own business," said Ung. "Unfortunately, that usually tends to lead to more violence because, you know, the assailants can actually get away with it."

"That's why we're doing this. I mean, I don't want this to happen to anybody's father, grandfather, mother, grandmother," said Lau.

Police are asking for the public's help in catching the attackers. If you have any information you're asked to call the El Monte Police Station at (626) 580-2100.

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