Three teenage female students at Chatsworth High School were found in a restroom at Mason Park in Chatsworth unconscious. Witnesses had seen a group of as many as eight boys congregating suspiciously around one of the restrooms at the park.
Police were called to the scene, and several teen males were interviewed at the park. One male teen was detained at questioned at length. He has since been released.
Police say it appears that the victims and the alleged assailants all knew each other.
The incident occurred during school hours. The students were supposed to be in class, but California state exams were administered Thursday at Chatsworth High, putting classes on a staggered schedule.
It is still unclear how the girls were rendered unconscious; there were reports of alcohol on the scene, but it was not known if drugs were involved. Police collected evidence from the scene Thursday afternoon.
When police arrived Thursday they found the three girls unconscious. There was a group playing basketball nearby and according to a couple of girls, they saw one of the teen boys carry one of the girls into the men's bathroom.
That made the girls feel uneasy. They did not want to be identified when questioned about the incident.
"One of our guys busted in hard with his foot. They tried to stop the door, but they got in there and got a lot of shots on him. Somehow he kicked him out, and then he got away so he ran and everybody took off running," said one of the witnesses.
"Well there was a girl in there who is very young and completely intoxicated to the point of where she was knocked out and laying there half naked. From her lower area up was completely nude. It doesn't take a genius to know what happened. We just don't know if it was one or more," the witness said.
Detectives secured the area from the bathroom all the way to the picnic benches. They gathered backpacks, a bag of candy and beverage containers at the scene.
Police were not sure if drugs or alcohol caused the three girls to pass out.
"There was a bag of candy found and it is unknown at this time whether or not it was laced. There is also several empty bottles of different types of soda containers - Subway cup, bottles of empty soda - so we do not know what involvement that may have at this point so we're still actively investigating it," said LAPD Captain Steven Ruiz.
Authorities were seeking about a half-dozen more teenagers believed to be part of the initial group.
"Again we have one person in custody. Based on the information provided by the eyewitnesses we believe that a possible sexual assault occurred to at least one of the victims. It is unknown whether the other two were assaulted, it is still being investigated," Captain Ruiz said.
All three girls were taken to a hospital to be examined.
Eyewitness News Reporter Sid Garcia contributed to this report.