Watts Teen Brutally Beaten on 15th Birthday at Burger Joint

Three males approached Jason Rios, a 15-year-old from Watts, and his buddy while they were eating lunch on the Freedom Plaza terrace.

Jason was enjoying a burger for his birthday.

The assailants took them by surprise, brutally beating Jason and his companion. Jason tried to run for cover but was caught, defenseless, according to his elder brother Humberto Rios. No one stepped in to stop the attack. The assailants didn’t try to rob the youngsters; they targeted them specifically for a vicious beating.

Wednesday saw the arrest of a minor on charges of attempted murder; two other individuals are now evading capture.

His family is now demanding justice for him.

A few days before the attack, on May 10, Jason had his fifteenth birthday party. Feeling independent, he wanted to partake in a typical adolescent pastime—going out for a burger with a pal. The good kid even asked for his mother’s permission. After some convincing, his loved ones told him to have his phone on him at all times.

During the attack, the assailants rained blows on Jason’s head. According to Humberto, Jason fell but got back up and got away.

He made his way to a Panda Express and called his mother. She says she was panicked because his speech was slurred.

When she arrived at the Panda Express, nothing out of the ordinary was seen; neither ambulances nor police vehicles were in sight.

As she walked inside the restaurant, she saw her kid stretched out on a patio seat. He looked up, but he lost the ability to speak.

After being brought to the hospital, Rios’ companion was eventually released.

Jason’s family rushed him to MLK Community Hospital in Willowbrook, where medical professionals found a cerebral hemorrhage. He was sent to Torrance’s Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and had emergency surgery.

In recovery, he has just regained the ability to breathe on his own after being on a ventilator.

To help cover the costs of medical care and legal representation, the family has started a GoFundMe page.