UPDATE: Suspects arrested in assault case, residents react

Two suspects were arrested Wednesday in connection with the assault of a 19-year-old Cal State Long Beach student, according to the Long Beach Police Department.

Police arrested the suspects on suspicion of trespassing at the Park Avenue Apartments on Beverly Plaza, where the alleged assault took place. During the course of the investigation, though, detectives found that the suspects had knowledge of the assault, police said in a news release.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office charged 20-year-old Long Beach resident Jonathan Britton with attempted murder, battery with serious injury, robbery and assault by means of committing great bodily injury on Friday. He is being held at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles on a $50,000 bail, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department website.

A 15-year-old suspect was arrested along with Britton, but he was released to his parents the same night, according to police.

Anyone with additional information about the investigation is urged to contact Long Beach Police Robbery Detective Mark Steenhausen at (562) 570-7465.

The incident

The 19-year-old Cal State Long Beach student was assaulted and beaten by two suspects at her apartment complex on Monday, March 3.

Records indicate that March 3 was also Britton’s 20th birthday.

On the night of the incident, the victim, who asked to not be named, was talking to a friend on the phone as she walked outside to retrieve her laundry from the laundry room around 11:30 p.m.

Within seconds, she saw a light-skinned man who told her she was a “lovely lady.” As she turned around, a second man approached her and punched her in the face.

She said one of the suspects held her throat with his right hand while repeatedly hitting her with his left until she was unconscious.

She was later transported to St. Mary Medical Center, where she was treated for “significant” facial injuries. She spent three nights in the hospital and was released the morning of Thursday, March 6.

Residents at Park Avenue Apartments on Beverly Plaza react to arrest

Many CSULB students, who are also residents at the Park Avenue Apartments on Beverly Plaza, said that security has increased at the apartments following the assault.

Julie Khou, a senior child development and family life education major, has lived in the complex for less than a year and said she has noticed an increase in security following the incident.

“I noticed right after it happened,” she said. “I saw a lot more security than I did the day before. Long Beach has always been pretty safe, and there’s a police station down the street, but I’ve noticed a lot less people out at night.”

Freshman finance major Ahmed Alzadjali said he is considering moving after his lease ends this summer, partially because of the incident.

“I didn’t hear anything. I just got a letter from the office about there being an accident or something,” he said.  “I noticed after what happened that the security is everywhere now. Before the accident, I didn’t see too much security here. That’s why I’m planning to leave now, after my lease ends in the summer.”

Anna Beckman, who has lived in the complex since January, said she’s more cautious of her surroundings after the assault.

“I had one of the security guards walk me from my car the other night, and he said they brightened all the lights in here because people were complaining about that,” she said.

“I was going to do laundry the other day, but I’d rather wait for my boyfriend to get here.”

Pam Watanabe, a Long Beach resident who walks by the apartments almost every day to go to the grocery store, said she hasn’t noticed anything out of the ordinary.

“The police precinct is right there, but when you’re a young girl, you have to have somebody with you,” Watanabe said. “There’s no way you’re gonna fight off two [people]. Just because you’re in a beautiful place that looks harmless doesn’t mean there aren’t dangers.”

The Park Avenue Apartments manager declined to comment.

Managing Editor Courtney Tompkins, Photo Editor Todd Johnson, Assistant News Editor Priscella Vega and Staff Writer Cynthia Mauleon contributed to this report.



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