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LA officials: 3 held over attempt to drive African American family out of Compton

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Two men and a teenage boy were arrested in connection with a series of race-based attacks on an African American family in an attempt to drive them out of Compton in Los Angeles, sheriff’s officials said.

A group of Latino males who claimed to be in a local street gang used metal pipes and shouted racial epithets at a black man who had recently moved into the neighborhood, sheriff’s officials said.

One of the suspects, identified as Efren Marquez, 21, allegedly pointed a gun at the victim and threatened to shoot him while he was being beaten with a metal pipe allegedly by a second suspect, identified as Jeffrey Aguilar, 19, officials said.

After the attack, the group left in a black sport utility vehicle.

Marquez and Aguilar returned 30 minutes later with a group of up to 20 gang members, who surrounded the front of the victims’ home shouting racial epithets and telling them that members of the African American race -- using the “n-word” -- were not allowed to live in the neighborhood, sheriff’s officials said.

An unidentified member of the group threw a beer bottle through the front living room window.

Sheriff’s officials said the suspects continued to drive by the home of the family -- which includes four children -- several times a day, shouting racial epithets while ordering the family to leave the neighborhood.

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Aguilar, Marquez and a juvenile were arrested on Thursday, said Capt. Mike Parker of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau.

They face hate crime charges.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Sheriff’s Operation Safe Streets Bureau gang investigators at (310) 603-3100 or the Compton Sheriff’s Station at (310) 605-6500.