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Fontana hazing suspect has emotional courtroom outburst

June 28, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The teenage defendant accused of sexually hazing his classmates cried and made a scene in a Fontana courtroom on Thursday.

Fernando Salgado's emotional outburst in the courtroom had deputies struggling to remove him. The 18-year-old shouted to his family, "I want to go home so bad."

His family also reacted to seeing their youngest brother forcibly restrained and unable to do anything to comfort him. Deputies also escorted Salgado's family outside the Fontana courthouse after they too became emotional.

"He doesn't want to be there. There are so many of us that are here to support him," said Krista Hernandez, Salgado's sister.

Salgado is one of four A.B. Miller High School students charged in a hazing incident at the high school. Investigators say he and three other minors assaulted three classmates during a masonry class. The charges include attempted sodomy and false imprisonment.

During his arraignment, Salgado wore jail house green, denoting his status as a protective custody inmate. The teen, who wept openly in court, pleaded not guilty.

Friends and family say they are not buying the charges against Salgado.

"I really think it was just kind of horseplay. I really think they over charged him with a lot of things. There's a lot of charges. It's too much," said Salgado's friend, Bryan Delatorre.

Another friend Michael Acosta characterized Salgado as a hard-working, helpful teen who likes to have fun.

"He's a joker. He just plays around. He's a little kid. He's a baby," said Acosta.

According to an arrest affidavit from the district attorney's office, Salgado is charged with attempting to sodomize a classmate with a broomstick handle while in class, while the victim was being held down by three others.

Salgado's teacher, Emmanuel de la Rosa, was also charged and arrested in the incident. He made bail, and his arraignment is scheduled for July. According to police, de la Rosa may have directed a student to assault one of the victims in order to correct a behavioral issue. De la Rosa has been placed on administrative leave.

Salgado's family says they do not have the money for his bail, so they're planning a fundraiser.


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