On Friday, October 23, the night of Santa Monica High School’s homecoming game, two freshman boys were walking home from the game. One of the boys was on foot and the victim was riding his balance board (a small two-wheeled electric scooter). They were near the intersection of 17th Street and Oak Street when they were approached by a pair of fellow students.
One of the students (Suspect 1) asked to borrow the victim’s scooter and rode around for a while, while the victim, the victim’s friend, and Suspect 2 watched.
After a few minutes, Suspect 1 fell off the scooter, hurting his knee. The victim, who was uncomfortable loaning his scooter to a boy he barely knew, used this as an opportunity to collect his scooter and continue home with his buddy. A few minutes later, the victim and his friend were approached from behind by two boys, catching them off guard. Suspect 1 pushed the victim from behind, knocking him to the ground, and then started punching the victim, hitting him on both sides of his face. Suspect 2 picked up the scooter and started to run away. When the victim tried to pull the scooter back from Suspect 2 he was punched again. Both suspects took the board and ran southbound on 17th Street out of sight. The victim called the police. Responding officers obtained the information and forwarded it to Youth Services detectives for follow up. Although the victim did not know the names of the suspects, he was sure he recognized them from school and was confident he could identify them if he saw them again. On Nov. 11, 2015, the victim met with investigators and identified two boys he thought were the suspects from a school photo book. Those boys were arrested on Nov. 12, booked for strong-arm robbery, and then released to their parents. Later that day, additional information surfaced that two other students (not the two identified initially by the victim) were actually responsible for committing the crime. Detectives met with the two students, both of whom admitted to taking the scooter, keeping it for a short time, and then ditching the item in a dumpster near Suspect 1’s residence. The scooter was never recovered. Youth Services investigators cited the real thieves and, following the booking process, released them to their parents. Because the suspects are juveniles, no booking or bail information is available.