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2 More Arrested in Laguna Beach Beating

January 12, 1993|GREGORY CROUCH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Laguna Beach police arrested two additional suspects Monday in what they described as a gay-bashing and released the identity of the still-unconscious victim, a 55-year-old Vietnamese immigrant.

Christopher Michael Cribbins, 22, of San Clemente has been arrested on suspicion of assault with great bodily harm and violating the city's hate crime law, police said.

Police on Monday also arrested a 16-year-old San Juan Capistrano resident on suspicion of "obstructing an officer's duties" after he allegedly "lied numerous times" to investigators about the beating, Police Chief Neil J. Purcell said.

Police identified the victim as Loc Minh Truong of Costa Mesa. He was in critical condition Monday at Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo.

Purcell said the suspects confronted the victim about 1:30 a.m. Saturday on a stretch of beach near three gay bars.

A third suspect has been in custody since shortly after the incident. Jeff Michael Raines, 18, of San Juan Capistrano is being held on suspicion of attempted murder and a hate crime. Police described Raines as the "main principal" behind the beating.

Purcell said the suspects confronted Truong on the beach, then said: "You (expletive) faggot . . . we're going to get you.' "

Police believe that the juvenile went back to a waiting car and did not participate in the beating, Purcell said.

Cribbins allegedly pushed the victim down and Raines allegedly stomped on his head so many times that investigators could not determine his identity, Purcell said.

Members of Truong's family said the Vietnamese immigrant is not gay.

However, court records show that Truong was arrested by Laguna Beach police in 1987 and pleaded guilty the next year to engaging in lewd conduct with another man at the same beach where he was attacked.

The court at the time, according to records, admonished Truong to stay off Mountain Road Beach, the site of Saturday's incident, for at least three years.

Raines is to be arraigned this morning, Deputy Dist. Atty. Craig McKinnon said.

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