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3 teens held in death of O.C. boy, 14, during an apparent gang fight

June 12, 2008|David Haldane | Times Staff Writer

Three teenage boys were in custody Wednesday in connection with the death of a 14-year-old San Juan Capistrano boy who was struck in the head with a large piece of concrete during an apparent gang altercation, authorities said.

Jonathan Mendez died late Friday after being dropped at the ambulance entrance to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo. The car he was in, witnesses told police, had significant damage to the passenger side of the windshield. The vehicle sped away, but someone was able to jot down its license number.

Mendez, who had suffered massive head trauma, died a short time later.

Working through the weekend, investigators from the Orange County Sheriff's Department determined that two groups of teenagers -- one from San Juan Capistrano, the other from San Clemente -- got into a fight Friday night. They believe that Mendez was injured when a large piece of concrete was thrown at the car.

Authorities declined to identify the three boys arrested in the case because they are juveniles.

All are 14 years old and have been booked on murder charges. They were being held at Juvenile Hall.

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david.haldane@latimes.com

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