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Alleged Gang Initiation Leaves Teen Beaten, Left for Dead; Man Charged

By Emily Morris | March 23, 2014 4:27pm
 A photo of Heriberto Ramirez, 20, was not immediately available.
A photo of Heriberto Ramirez, 20, was not immediately available.
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COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — Prosecutors said a trio of people kidnapped, beat and stabbed a 15-year-old boy in a Little Village gang initiation before dumping the teen in a trash can when they mistakenly took him for dead.

Heriberto Ramirez, 20, was charged for his role in the initiation, which prosecutors said happened earlier this month. He's also known as Young Rocket, according to an arrest report.

Ramirez was caught by police when he was later shot in his groin several times and taken to Stroger Hospital, prosecutors said. He's still in the hospital recovering.

The night of March 15, Ramirez's two accomplices met the victim outside his home as the boy left to go to the corner store and demanded that the teen go with them, Assistant State's Attorney Naheda Zayyad-Hussien said in a court hearing Sunday.

One of Ramirez's accomplices has already been charged as a juvenile, Zayyad-Hussien said, while the other has not been charged.

Ramirez joined them at a laundromat, and the trio told the victim he was going to join the Latin Kings, Zayyad-Hussien said.

When the boy refused, the three initiators allegedly blindfolded him and took him to an unknown location before repeating their demand.

Again, the victim refused, and the trio knocked the boy to the ground, kicked him in his head and side and robbed him of his house keys, wallet and iPhone, Zayyad-Hussien said.

They blindfolded the victim again and took him to the 2700 block of South Homan Avenue, where the juvenile accomplice and Ramirez punched him in the face and knocked him to the ground, Zayyad-Hussien said.

Then, the uncharged accomplice stabbed the boy in the neck multiple times, Zayyad-Hussien said.

The attackers, thinking the victim was dead, threw the boy into a garbage can, prosecutors said.

The teen stayed inside the can until he felt safe and called authorities, Zayyad-Hussien said.

He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital with multiple stab wounds on the right side of his neck, according to the arrest report. He also suffered severe bruising to his face, Zayyad-Hussien said.

The victim knows the juvenile attacker from school, Zayyad-Hussien said, and he identified him by name and in a photo array.

Ramirez was seen on surveillance at the laundromat, identified by officers and then picked out in a photo array by the victim, Zayyad-Hussien said. According to the arrest report, Ramirez is a known member of a Latin Kings faction.

Ramirez, of the 2800 block of South Trumbull Avenue, was charged with attempted first-degree murder, kidnapping, robbery and gang recruitment of a minor, all felonies. He was also charged with misdemeanor battery.

Judge James Brown ordered Ramirez held without bail.