15-year-old fighting for his life after brutal beating outside restaurant in Watts

Leo Stallworth Image
Friday, May 17, 2024
15-year-old in ICU after brutal beating outside Watts restaurant
The family of a 15-year-old boy who was brutally beaten at a Watts fast-food restaurant is demanding justice as the teen continues fighting for his life.

WATTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The family of a 15-year-old boy who was brutally beaten at a Watts fast-food restaurant is demanding justice as the teen continues fighting for his life.

Jason Rios is in intensive care after being gravely injured. He had just celebrated his birthday on Mother's Day weekend.

The incident occurred at about 7 p.m. Tuesday at The Habit located at Freedom Plaza in the 2300 block of Century Boulevard, according to detectives.

Jason and another person were approached from behind and viciously beaten by three other juvenile suspects, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

The 15-year-old was rushed to Harbor UCLA Medical Center. His family said he's undergone surgery on his brain.

"He didn't know these individuals. They came up behind him. They threw a punch at his head. They knocked him to the ground. He mentioned that he tried to dodge a lot of the hits by covering his body," said the victim's sister Nayeli Rios.

LAPD said the second victim was also hospitalized but later released from the hospital.

Nayeli said her brother's injuries are extensive.

"A lot of the kicks were to the body. He had lesions on his arms... he had multiple lesions on his face. He received, the one major hit or the major hits he received was on the right side of his brain. So that's where they operated from and that's where the inflammation from his eyes are coming from as well," she said.

The teen's family said Jason had just celebrated his 15th birthday the weekend before the vicious attack.

"So we just celebrated his birthday on Saturday. He's so joyous. I remember we were, we were there celebrating his birthday he blew out the candles. He was so happy. He never has any problems with anybody. He goes to school, my mom picks him up, my mom brings him home. It's the one day that my mom let him go with a friend to eat. And that we don't, we don't let him go out because it's dangerous," said Nayeli.

The victim's mother said he was just starting his life.

"He understands what's happening to him. When I go and visit him in the hospital I can barely hold back my tears," said Lola Mendoza, Jason's mother.

LAPD said one of the suspects was identified and arrested Wednesday for attempted murder, but detectives are still working to arrest the other two juvenile suspects.

Police urge anyone with information regarding this case to contact detectives at (213) 972-7813. During non-business hours and weekends, call (877) 527-3247. Those wishing to remain anonymous may call L.A. Regional Crime

Stoppers at (800) 222-8477 or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org.