Man charged in teen's Logan Square beating

September 20, 2011 (CHICAGO)

Earlier in the day police had been questioning two persons of interest. Late Tuesday, Esteban Miranda, 19, was charged.

Fourteen-year-old Brian DeLeon was walking home when he was attacked last week in the city's Logan Square community. The attack initially left DeLeon in a coma.

DeLeon had just left his girlfriend's home when he was attacked in the 2900-block of W. Bloomingdale. Monday afternoon, there was a community meeting to discuss the attack.

That meeting took place at Yates Elementary School, not far from where the beating took place. Parents of students at the school said they want surveillance cameras installed on school grounds, saying they might have been able to prevent what happened last week.

In DeLeon's neighborhood people are still stunned.

"I have been keeping an eye on my three kids a lot more," said neighbor Kevin Lobianco. "I don't let my 8-year-old daughter just walk around the street any more, even to play with her friends two doors down."

One week after DeLeon was severely beaten, police say they are questioning two people, reportedly gang members who may have mistaken DeLeon for somebody else.

"If they are the people that did it, I hope they do get charged and justice gets played out," said neighbor Claudia Salgado.

Salgado lives downstairs from DeLeon's family and says, according to his relatives, he has been in and out of surgery, and as of last weekend the teen was still on life support.

DeLeon's family hasn't left his side.

"They are thinking of moving out of the neighborhood. They really don't want anything to do with it after what happened," said Salgado.

The beating happened last Tuesday around 9 p.m. as DeLeon was walking home from his girlfriend's house.

Police say whoever attacked DeLeon likely used a heavy object, perhaps a baseball bat or sledgehammer.

"Ever since we heard it happened our hearts have gone out to the family and to him, and we just hope that he gets better," said neighbor Katherine Raz.

The 14-year-old Chicago Public Schools student had just started high school at the Phoenix Military Academy, after graduating from Yates Elementary, which is right next to where the beating happened.

"There's a lot of gang signs around here. And there's just too much violence around here. I would appreciate it if they put cameras there or if they have more police officers," said parent Idalia Ortega.

"There's nothing but gang activity all around here. All around here. Cameras would be the best thing to do," said parent Francesca Mojica.

DeLeon graduated from Yates Elementary last spring, and in the past week, students and staff there have been collecting money for his family. So far, according to the principal, they have collected about $700.

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