15-year-old arrested in connection with recent East Valley youth violence incident

Mar 19, 2024, 11:09 AM

Crime scene tape in focus, with a blurry Gilbert Police vehicle in the background....

A 15-year-old suspect was arrested Friday, March 15, in connection with an assault at a Gilbert park. (Facebook Photo/Gilbert Police Department)

(Facebook Photo/Gilbert Police Department)

PHOENIX – A teenager was arrested last week in connection with a recent case of youth violence in the East Valley, authorities said.

A juvenile victim reported that he was assaulted by multiple people at a neighborhood park near Baseline Road and Val Vista Drive on Jan. 27, the Gilbert Police Department said.

Investigators identified a 15-year-old suspect, who was arrested Friday. Charges were referred to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, police said.

The investigation, which is ongoing, is independent of Queen Creek’s investigation into the death of 16-year-old Preston Lord.

Lord died in a hospital two days after he was assaulted Oct. 28, 2023, outside a Halloween party in Queen Creek.

Seven suspects, including three minors who were charged as adults, were arrested earlier this month and charged with first-degree murder in Lord’s death.

Youth violence cases become priority in East Valley

Reports of multiple youth violence incidents in the East Valley started coming out after Lord’s death. Police departments, who were accused of being slow to act in response to previous assaults, started making the cases a priority.

Media reports implicated a group of violent youths known as the Gilbert Goons in multiple attacks that were documented on video that was posted to social media.

Police in Gilbert and surrounding communities have made arrests in multiple youth violence cases since the start of the year for incidents that occurred as far back as 2022, at times after using video posted by the attackers as evidence.

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15-year-old arrested in connection with recent East Valley youth violence incident