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Women Held in Bludgeoning of Ex-Friend

June 15, 1989|MICHAEL CONNELLY | Times Staff Writer

A San Fernando woman was in extremely critical condition Wednesday after she was beaten with a baseball bat by two women angered by the breakup of their friendship, the Los Angeles Police Department reported.

Investigators said at least two other young women watched the Tuesday night attack in Sylmar but did nothing to stop it.

Elizabeth Valdivia, 20, suffered massive head and upper body injuries when she was clubbed and kicked to the ground while walking home from work, authorities said. She was being treated in the intensive care unit at Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills.

After the attack, police arrested Dawn Michelle Rodriguez, 20, of San Fernando, and Socorro Mauricio, 20, of Pacoima on suspicion of attempted murder. They were being held without bail at Van Nuys Jail.

Details of the motive behind the attack were not known. Police were unable to interview the victim because of her condition.

"They were apparently feuding and breaking up a relationship that they had had," Detective Al Ferrand said. "They had known each other in the neighborhood and school. It became a broken friendship."

Ferrand said the reason for ending the friendship was not known.

Telephone Threat

Police said Valdivia was assaulted at 9:30 p.m., shortly after leaving work at a Sylmar fast-food restaurant. Co-workers told police that before leaving the restaurant, Valdivia had received a phone call in which her former friends told her they were going to beat her up, Ferrand said.

Valdivia walked her normal route home, going south on Borden Avenue through its intersection with Beaver Street, where Rodriguez, Mauricio and at least two girls, 15 and 17, were waiting in a pickup truck, Ferrand said.

Rodriguez and Mauricio got out of the truck with a baseball bat and began clubbing and kicking Valdivia while the two teen-agers remained in the pickup, he said.

Valdivia was knocked unconscious but the beating did not stop until a passing motorist saw the attack and shone the high beams of his headlights on the three women. A passing pedestrian couple then saw the attack and ran to Valdivia's aid.

Rodriguez and Mauricio fled in the pickup truck. But one of the witnesses provided police with the truck's license plate number, which led to the suspects' arrest early Wednesday.

Ferrand said detectives are still investigating the two teen-agers who were in the pickup. They were not arrested.

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