EVERETT — Three young men have been convicted of attacking a stranger Oct. 17 at a south Everett apartment complex.
Prosecutors say the suspects wanted to “assert territorial dominance” for their gang. Assaulting someone to maintain or advance gang membership is considered an aggravating circumstance under state law.
A fourth defendant is headed toward trial in May. Jose Bermudez, 20, was charged last year with second-degree assault.
The incident happened in the parking lot of the Park 120 apartments on W. Casino Road.
A 35-year-old man with no gang affiliations had pulled into the lot, returning home with his 6-year-old son.
He was getting out of his car when the suspects accused him of staring at them, according to the charges. At some point, he also told them to leave someone else alone, another person who they were confronting for some reason.
One of the suspects punched the 35-year-old, who threw punches back. The three others jumped in and continued to beat the man after he fell to the ground, charges say.
He suffered compound fractures in his right arm, among other injuries. His young son remained in the car and witnessed what happened.
Once detained, some of the defendants reportedly were yelling gang references at officers.
Police told the court that all the suspects have gang ties, and they’d been feuding with a rival group leading up to the attack.
Jesus Uyu-Torres, 18, was sentenced Feb. 11. He was ordered to seven months of jail time after being convicted at trial of second-degree assault.
Victor Lopez-Bermudez, 20, pleaded guilty Jan. 18. The charges were amended and he received a three-year sentence on Jan. 29. That hearing also resolved a separate charge in which he was accused of stabbing someone in the arm on a different occasion. As part of the plea, he admitted to third-degree assault in the stabbing.
Berdusco Mendez, 20, pleaded guilty Jan. 15. He admitted to second-degree assault related to gang activity. Prosecutors are recommending four years at sentencing, which is set for March 19. He was accused of starting the melee.