VENTURA, Calif. - Five people have been arrested in connection to a gang-motivated assault that sent two people to the hospital in mid-December.
On December 15, a gathering was held in the area of Avenida Del Platino and Calle Diamonte in Newbury Park. The gathering was an informal memorial service for David Smith, a man who was shot and killed in the same area on November 30.
At the gathering, an argument erupted and several suspected gang members assaulted three non-gang members.
During the assault one victim was cut with a sharp object, another suffered a serious injury to his mouth and the third was badly beaten.
Two of the victims were transported to the Los Robles Hospital where they were treated for their injuries and released.
Investigators identified four suspects believed to be involved in the assault and one suspect who attempted to intimidate the victims and prevent them from cooperating with the police.
On January 4, Jessica Macias, 21, of Newbury Park and a male juvenile were arrested in Newbury Park on a susppicion of assault with a deadly weapon and gang allegation charges.
Macias was booked into the Ventura County Jail and later released on bail. The male juvenile was lodged into Juvenile Hall where he remains in custody awaiting trial.
On January 12, Joe Higareda, 21, of Simi Valley and Alexis Martinez, 28, of Thousand Oaks were arrested in Simi Valley on a complaint of assault with a deadly weapon and gang enhancement charges. Both were booked into the Ventura County Jail where they remain in custody awaiting trial.
Fabian Higareda, 20, of Thousand Oaks was arrested in Simi Valley that same day for dissuading a witness and gang enhancement charges. He was booked into the Ventura County Jail and later released pending further investigation.
The assault is still under investigation.
Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact Ventura County Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against those responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous and the call is not recorded.