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By Eric Heinz
San Clemente Police Chief Lt. Mike Peters said officers plan to file felony charges against a 16-year-old girl who assaulted another 16-year-old girl on Dec. 7 outside the Boys & Girls Club of the South Coast Area.
Peters said the fight stemmed from the suspect accusing the victim of saying things about her. When the victim denied it, the suspect assaulted her, inflicting injuries that required the girl to be hospitalized.
“It was not one of those fights where the victim had a chance, and it appeared that the victim was kicked,” Peters said, adding there were other people in the area during the beating, but the suspect acted alone, based on interviews with the witnesses. “(The suspect) cooperated with authorities on what happened, so we pretty much have the full story.”
Peters said the girl suffered injuries to her kidneys and other lacerations. He said he couldn’t comment further on the extent of the victim’s injuries because the injury report from the hospital where she is being treated had not yet been sent to authorities.
Peters also said local police were unaware of the situation until the girl was taken to the hospital. He said police took an initial report and were expecting to file misdemeanor changes, but after understanding the extent of the victim’s injuries and post-interview processing, it was determined more severe charges would be filed.
The Orange County District Attorney makes the final determination on charges, if any, that are filed in court.
Photos of the victim were posted to a social media site for concerned San Clemente community members. The photos are not being distributed by San Clemente Times due to patient privacy laws and because the victim is a minor. The names of those involved are also not being published because they are both younger than 18 years old.
Both girls are students at San Clemente High School (SCHS). Peters said Capistrano Unified School District will hold a hearing to determine whether the suspect will be expelled from SCHS, as she has had disciplinary infractions in the past. Neither the suspect nor the victim was a volunteer with the Boys & Girls Club, Peters said.