By Chris Bone
Sgt. Jim Gillio would not confirm or deny if the victim from Morgan Hill, ever belonged to a criminal street gang, but sources suggested the young man was trying to turn his life around. Jerry Sarmientoluna, 21, and Nathaniel Gonzalez, 19, apparently weren't having it, though, when they approached the victim at his job just before 6 p.m. Friday and yelled gang slogans before attacking him with their hands and feet.
Witnesses called police while the incident occurred, and officers caught up with and arrested the suspects who fled on foot shortly thereafter. No weapons were used during the attack, which did not cause any serious injuries even though the victim his head against the cement, police said.
Sarmientoluna, who has been denied bail, was arrested for violating the terms of his parole, and police charged both the suspects from Gilroy with assault with a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit a crime. Gonzalez also remains in jail with a $30,000 bail, and investigators are trying to add gang enhancement charges to both cases, which would stiffen the penalties the men face. The pair are scheduled to appear in court Wednesday, according to the Santa Clara County Department of Corrections.
A police report also indicated Gonzalez's occupation was "U.S. Military," but a soldier at the U.S. Army recruiting center on Westwood Drive said he could not look up service records, and spokespeople in a national military office could not be reached late Tuesday afternoon.