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California Briefing

Whittier

3 men arrested in attack on woman

August 05, 2009|Robert J. Lopez

Three El Monte men were arrested Tuesday after allegedly slashing a woman's throat and dumping her on the side of a steep canyon in Whittier, authorities said.

The woman, a 20-year-old Bellflower resident, suffered a 4-inch slash across her throat and had cuts and bruises on her body, said Jason Zuhlke, spokesman for the Whittier Police Department.

The men -- Vincent Mendoza, 21; Edward Meraz, 24; and Jose Ayala, 27 -- were booked on charges of attempted murder and kidnapping, Zuhlke said.

He said the woman underwent surgery at County-USC Medical Center and was listed in critical condition.

The woman knew the three men and had planned to go to the beach with them Monday, Zuhlke said.

Instead, they got in their car, tied her up with rope, beat her, cut her throat and left her in Turnbull Canyon in Whittier, he said.

"They dumped her and took off," Zuhlke said.

The woman, still bleeding, eventually climbed up the hill to the 6000 block of Altmark Avenue, he said.

Neighbors were awakened about 3:30 Tuesday morning by the woman's screams. She gave police the suspects' names and a description of their vehicle.

Zuhlke said the three men, still in the Whittier area, were pulled over by police a short time later.

-- Robert J. Lopez

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