California man gets 8 years in prison for hate crime assault of student who's black with special needs

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KTLA) – A 19-year-old Long Beach man was sentenced Monday, Oct. 21 to eight years in state prison for the hate crime assault of a student outside a Long Beach high school, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

Bryan Blancas and his friends confronted the 16-year-old victim, knocked him to the ground and repeatedly punched and kicked him in the head, face, and torso after school on May 15 in front of Poly Academy of Achievers and Leaders, authorities said.

The boy was left with cuts, bruises, and a torn eardrum, his mother, Rasheena McCord, told KTLA. She said her son is a student with special needs.

Blancas pleaded no contest to one felony count of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and admitted to allegations that the assault was a hate crime and was committed to benefit a criminal street gang, according to the news release.

Video of the attack showed the boy outnumbered, struggling on the ground as a group of at least five people kicked and struck him.

Long Beach police arrested Blancas almost a week later.

Three other teens, ages 16 and 17, were also taken into custody after the incident. All three juveniles were being held at Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall. They were not identified because of their age.