Moreno Valley student dies after brutal beating at middle school

A Moreno Valley middle school student was declared brain dead on Tuesday from injuries sustained during a fight at school, while two other students remained in juvenile hall for their involvement in the fight. 

The video posted on social media shows the fight at school by two 13-year-olds. One teenager punches Diego, also 13, then another student punches him again. Diego’s head hits a concrete pillar as he falls to the ground. The first teen punches him a third time and runs away.

“It’s sad that our community is going down like this,” said Landmark Middle School parent Catherine Paschal.


“We need assurance that our children are going to be safe,” added Landmark parent Joe Gutierrez. We need enough security personnel here.”

At the meeting, that included Riverside County deputies and counselors, parents suggested an additional school resource officer and said they will not tolerate bullying at the school. 

“I would like to see all violent children who get into fights get expelled,” one parent said. “If they don’t want to behave, they don’t need to be here. This is a place for learning and they need to understand that.”

Some parents say Diego’s mother warned the school that students were bullying him but say school officials did nothing about it. 

Landmark administrators and deputies assured parents they are investigating the incident in-depth -- interviewing students, first responders, looking at security cameras and students’ videos of the assault to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“Our youth is lost, period, point-blank,” said Paschal who was tearing up because she lost her cousin to bullying. “They’re lost and they need help but it starts at home with the parents.”

Administrators told parents they have resources available on their Website including parenting classes, mentoring programs as well as a bully report form and tip line.

Deputies have arrested the two students who attacked Diego, charging them both with assault likely to produce great bodily injury.