Four southern California officers are facing felony charges of physically and abusing 13 youths at a police-run boot camp on the central coast, the local sheriff’s office announced Wednesday.
The officers are accused of assaulting 13 boys and girls ages 12 to 17 who were attending a one-week Leadership Empowerment and Discipline Boot Camp sponsored by the Huntington Park and South Gate police departments, the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office said. The program, for at-risk youths, was held May 17-24 at Camp San Luis Obispo, a California Army National Guard base.
Search and arrest warrants were issued Tuesday and Wednesday for the four Los Angeles-area drill instructors: Det. Marissa Elizabeth Larios, 36, and Officer Patrick Marvin Nijland, 47, both from Huntington Park; and Officers Carlos Manuel Gomez-Marquez, 31, and Edgar Yovany Gomez, 35, from South Gate.
All four posted bond on $20,000 bail.
Gomez and Gomez-Marquez face five charges: felony counts of willful cruelty to a child, criminal threats and criminal conspiracy. Plus misdemeanor counts of battery and abuse under color of authority.
Larios was arrested for willful cruelty to a child, criminal conspiracy, criminal battery and abuse of authority.
Nijland is accused of willful cruelty to a child, battery and abuse of authority.
The FBI Computer Analysis Response Team aided in the two-month investigation, the sheriff said.
The officers allegedly slammed some children against walls, stepped on their fingers while they did push-ups and beat some in a dark room, a lawyer representing some alleged victims told the San Luis Obispo New Times.
Attorney Greg Owen said some kids suffered bruises and scrapes, and at least one had broken one or more fingers.
The one-week program for children with minor behavioral problems cost parents $400, he said.
OK OK I know there is more to this story as there usually is. To tell you the truth I bet there was some parent that did not like someone telling their lil darlin what to do, especially since they won’t.
And it caught my eye because of two days ago I posted this article about that same city:
Interesting coincidence I think.