A Chicago gang member was charged late Tuesday in the brutal beating of a 14-year-old boy he mistook for a member of a rival gang to the point of a coma.
Esteban Miranda, 19, of the 1600 block of North Maplewood Avenue, was charged with one count of attempted murder and another of armed robbery in the beating of Brian DeLeon, NBC Chicago reports. Two other individuals who were being questioned by police have been released without charges.
Miranda is a member of the Maniac Latin Disciples, according to the Chicago Tribune. He reportedly thought that DeLeon was a member of the rival Spanish Cobras street gang when he allegedly confronted him in the 2900 block of West Bloomingdale Avenue in Chicago's Logan Square area on the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 13.
Though three other gang members with Miranda reportedly yelled at Miranda to stop beating DeLeon's head and body because they realized he was a "neutron" -- slang for a non-gang member -- he continued. DeLeon's injuries initially appeared so severe that police thought he'd been shot.
DeLeon, meanwhile, remains in a coma and in grave condition at Children's Memorial Hospital after being left with a hole in his head that is approximately the size of a silver dollar, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The Phoenix Marine Academy freshman has been described by his former principal -- at Yates Elementary -- as an "all around wonderful kid." On the night he was attacked, he had been studying and playing video games with his girlfriend.
According to the Tribune, Miranda was convicted on a weapons charge in 2009 and, prior to that, he was convicted of aggravated DUI.
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