Father of a victim beaten by Gilbert Goons frustrated with group and authorities

Jan 12, 2024, 4:50 PM | Updated: 5:08 pm

PHOENIX — The father of a boy who was beaten up by the infamous group known as the Gilbert Goons in 2023 says the group has been causing problems for years prior to the attack.

Rick Kuehner’s son was beaten up outside of an In-N-Out on Aug. 18, 2023. Kuehner eventually had to send his son overseas to avoid harassment and attacks from the group.

Five arrests were made on Jan. 10 in connection to attacks on minors in the East Valley with one of those arrested saying he was associated with the Gilbert Goons, according to a probable cause statement.

“These kids, these goons or whoever, they literally will tell you ‘if you say something, we’ll kill you,'” Kuehner told the Gaydos & Chad Show on Friday.

Similarities to Preston Lord attack

That came to fruition on Oct. 28 when Combs High School student Preston Lord was attacked outside of a Halloween party and died two days later from the injuries.

The attack on Lord was similar to the attack on Kuehner’s son.

“There was blood everywhere, his whole mouth was covered in blood, his shirt, he had no shoes on. I guess they stole his shoes at the same time,” Kuehner said.

“He parked his car right where he usually parks it, was gonna meet his friend there and a white pickup truck with about 10 kids in the back pulled up to him and just started attacking him.”

Inaction by authorities

Kuehner’s frustration lies not only with the group but with the authorities in charge of protecting his son and the rest of the public.

“I was not getting help from anyone and the people that we pay our taxes to help us, our local authorities, our school administrators, it’s been crickets,” Kuehner said.

Part of the problem, according to Kuehner is that the kids who get caught are not removed from the ongoing situation.

“When these kids are in trouble or get expelled from one school, they just drop them off at another school,” Kuehner said.

“I’m very disappointed of the inaction that has taken place and that I’ve had to resort to media and news and stuff.”

Other cases

While the murder of Preston Lord is still an open case, there are still several others that still have to be resolved.

“There was four inactive cases, mine being one,” Kuehner said. “Since then, there have been five more cases that have come open. So there’s a total of nine that we know of.”

Kuehner said that four of the five kids arrested on Jan. 10 were involved in the attack on his son.

“It’s good to know that action is being taken but it also frustrates me even more that it took so long that if they would have done their due diligence back in August they would have had those arrested a long time ago.

“And, God forbid, if they were associated with Preston Lord, maybe he would still be alive today.”

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Father of a victim beaten by Gilbert Goons frustrated with group and authorities