Elk Grove, CA – A 12-year-old boy was violently attacked by a group of high school students, who stole his shoes and cell phone before a passerby chased them off, a home surveillance video showed (video below).
The incident occurred at approximately 4 p.m. on Sep. 28, as the eighth-grader was riding his bike on Swann Way on his way home from school, KTXL reported.
"I thought I would, like, get murdered because I didn’t know if they have a weapon or not," 12-year-old boy told the news outlet on Monday.
The older teens were traveling in a car when they spotted the boy.
"I saw the car proceed to follow the kid," a 16-year-old witness recalled. "I just saw the way they were looking at him and the discomfort on his face."
One of the teens asked the boy what kind of phone he had with them, then the group attacked him from multiple directions.
The mob knocked the boy down, and violently pummeled him and kicked him in the head as they tore off his shoes, the video showed.
“I was so scared," the boy later told KTXL. "I didn’t know what to do, so I just blocked my face with my arms.”
When the 16-year-old witness realized what was occurring, he immediately intervened.
“I hopped out of my vehicle and started honking and yelled,” the witness said. “And walked towards them all to stop it from happening.”
"I thought, like, what if it was one of my family members?” the Good Samaritan recalled. “I want them to do that for my family, so I thought I would just return the favor.”
With the boy’s Air Jordan shoes and cell phone in hand, the assailants jumped back into their vehicle and sped away.
“If he didn’t honk his car they may have done worse,” said the middle schooler, who credited the older boy for saving him from further attack.
“The video was shared through social media, and proved very useful in documenting the details of this deliberate and vicious attack,” the Elk Grove Police Department said in a Facebook post on Monday.
“Technology, with social media combined, can be a powerful tool for not only the community, but for us as law enforcement,” Elk Grove Police Officer Jason Jimenez told KTXL.
On Monday, Elk Grove police confirmed that they had arrested the three 17-year-old boys and one 16-year-old boy responsible for the robbery.
“With the assistance of the community, witnesses, and the work of our officers and detectives, we were able to identify all four juvenile suspects and took them into custody,” the department said in a news release, according to KCRA.
"Our investigators did a good job,” Officer Jimenez told KXTV. “A lot of it was thanks to the video that captured the incident.
"The victim didn’t know the suspects and had we not had the video, and had it not been shared on social media, who knows?" the officer added. "Maybe we wouldn’t have identified them.”
The four assailants were all charged on suspicion of robbery and conspiracy, and one of the teens faces an additional charge of assault with a deadly weapon, KTXL reported.
You can watch surveillance footage of the brutal attack in the video below: