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Three suspected gang members arrested in connection with assault

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Montgomery County police arrested two men and a juvenile who they believe are part of the "La Raza" street gang on charges that they beat a man in the head and face with broken glass bottles at a party in Silver Spring earlier this month.

Police arrested 20-year-old Andres Jose Cortez of the 3300 block of Hewitt Avenue in Silver Spring, 19-year-old Kevin Reynold Valdez of the 14000 block of Cove Lane in Rockville, and 17-year-old Cristian Javier Ayala of the 2600 block of Terrapin Road in Silver Spring in connection with the assault. Mr. Cortez and Mr. Valdez were both arrested on Nov. 8, while Mr. Ayala — who is being charged as an adult — was arrested on Nov. 14. Mr. Cortez has been charged with attempted second-degree murder and first-degree assault. Mr. Valdez has been charged with first-degree assault and conspiracy, and Mr. Ayala was charged with first and second degree assault.

Police believe that the trio was at a Nov. 4 house party on the 1400 block of Silo Way. A 22-year-old male guest told police that he got into an argument with people he did not know about his beer. The dispute became more violent and he told police that a group of people hit him in the head and face with glass bottles. The man was seriously injured and taken to the hospital for treatment, police said.

Montgomery County police spokesman Capt. Paul Starks said that all three suspects are thought to be part of the "La Raza" or "Little R" street gang. Police were investigating several other assaults and robberies that have taken place in the Wheaton and Good Hope areas — thought to be associated with the gang — and Capt. Starks said there may be additional charges filed against the suspects in the Nov. 4 assault.

The three men are in custody and awaiting court hearings.

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