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California Briefing

San Bernardino County

Group home caretaker beaten

August 25, 2009|David Kelly

The caretaker of a Yucaipa group home was tied up and severely beaten by two juveniles who stole his car and money and led authorities on a high-speed chase before being captured hours later, authorities said Monday.

San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies went to a home on 5th Place about 11:45 p.m. Saturday after receiving calls about a fight, according to Arden Wiltshire, a department spokeswoman. Inside they found a 43-year-old man tied up and unconscious in a bedroom closet. The unidentified man had been beaten with a steam iron and a wooden dowel, she said.

He was in critical condition with severe brain damage, Wiltshire said.

The suspects were identified as a 16-year-old gang member from Long Beach and a 17-year-old from Oakland. Both were on probation.

They fled the California Highway Patrol down Interstate 10 at speeds of 120 mph before getting stuck as they tried to cross a center divider in Fontana, said CHP Sgt. Andrew Thompson. They were booked into Juvenile Hall on suspicion of attempted murder.

Yucaipa has a history of trouble at its group homes. City officials have said 60% to 70% of those in the homes come from outside the county and account for a disproportionate amount of calls to the Sheriff's Department.

-- David Kelly

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