A 19-year-old man was ordered held without bail Wednesday in connection with the severe beating of a 14-year-old boy last week on the Northwest Side.
Esteban Miranda, 19, of the 1600 North Maplewood Avenue, was charged with one count of attempted murder and one count of armed robbery about 9 p.m. Tuesday, police said.
Two others being questioned were released without charges.
"We do feel bad for Mr. DeLeón's family, however my client is not the man who committed this offense," said defense attorney Vincent Luisi Jr. outside the courtroom.
Brian DeLeón remains comatose and in critical condition at Children’s Memorial Hospital. The boy was apparently mistaken for a member of a rival gang, police say.
The suspected attackers are members of the Maniac Latin Disciples street gang who wrongly believed DeLeón was a Spanish Cobra, police sources said.
DeLeón pleaded with the attackers that he was not a gang member, but they beat him anyway, sources said. The attack left a "silver-dollar-sized" hole in DeLeón’s head.
The Marine Science and Math Academy freshman had no gang affiliation and was "a straight kid," Shakespeare District police Capt. Marc Buslik said.
He had been studying with his girlfriend, 14-year-old Dayana Vasquez, and had just left her when he was attacked at around 9:15 p.m. on Sept. 13 in the 2900 block of West Bloomingdale, police said.
His wounds were so bad that when paramedics arrived they initially thought he had been shot, police said.
Police arrested two young men in the early hours of Tuesday after receiving several calls from the public, sources said.
“It appears he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s a real shame,” Buslik said.
As a result of the incident, parents, police and Ald. Rey Colón (35th) met Tuesday to discuss changes that could be made to improve safety around Yates Elementary School, where DeLeón was attacked.
"We've got parents that are very concerned, and although this was... and isolated situation, everybody wants to make sure that their children are safe," said Colón.
Among the changes proposed: improving lighting in the area, launching parental patrols near the school when children are likely to be present and adding enhanced digital security cameras on the block.
|Brian DeLeón was walking home from studying at his girlfriend's house last week when he was attacked.|