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YouTube Video Of Alleged Gang Initiation Lands 2 Men In Jail

Two men were arrested after a video posted on the Internet allegedly showed them and a juvenile beating up a 14-year-old Las Cruces girl in what police said is a possible gang initiation.

Jimmy Lugo Jr., 25, and Pedro Barraza, 20, were arrested on suspicion of child abuse and conspiracy. Charges against a 16-year-old boy are pending.

The 79-second video, which shows the girl being punched, kicked and stomped repeatedly, was brought to attention of Las Cruces police shortly after the girl’s was taken to a local hospital by her mother on Nov. 19. Investigators said the girl suffered several injuries to her face and head, but the injuries are not considered life-threatening. Police said the girl appears willing to participate in the beating.

LCPD school resource officers and members of the department’s gang unit helped identify the three suspects after the video was posted on YouTube. The incident is believed to have occurred in a parking lot near the 1400 block of Almendra Street .

A relative of Barraza’s, another teenage boy, is believed to have shot the video, which was posted on YouTube with Barraza’s username. The video has since been removed from the video-sharing website.

Another girl is seen in the video watching the attack but not physically participating in the assault. Charges against that girl and the boy who recorded the beating are possible.

Lugo and Barraza are being held at the Dona Ana County Detention Center with cash-only bonds set at $40,000.

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