Two martial arts instructors were behind bars over the weekend after they allegedly tortured a teen by beating him, cutting him with samurai swords and burning him with lit cigarettes.
Brothers Ston Lee, 34, and Skoth Ly, 33, of the Ston Skoth Martial Arts Academies in Lancaster, Calif. were arrested Thursday at an apparent marijuana grow house, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The brothers allegedly kidnapped an 18-year-old on Sept. 25, tortured him and then released him.
Detectives Thursday served a search warrant at Lee’s home, where they found a firearm, drug paraphernalia and a hydroponic marijuana grow, the LASD said in a statement. A third man, Anthony Valdizia, was arrested along with Lee for being a felon with a firearm.
Police also searched two locations of the Ston Skoth Martial Arts Academy and recovered samurai swords from both locations, authorities said.
Lee and Ly were booked for kidnapping, torture and cultivating marijuana with additional charges pending. They are being held in lieu of $100,000 bail. Valdizia’s bail was set at $35,000.
Detectives did not reveal a suspected motive for the attack.
Anthony Martinez, a longtime acquaintance, said he was the brothers' first student and eventually ran the academy before leaving six months ago to teach martial arts on his own, the Associated Press reports.
Martinez, 38, said it was "mind-blowing" to hear of their arrests.
"These guys are very humble martial artists. They're good, respectful people," Martinez said to the AP. "Those were my masters. If anything, they were there to help people out."