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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

The writings of Don Juan Ortega on the Rancho Ortega Blog are the personal views of the author. This blog is not authored by nor does it have any affiliation whatsoever with any other person, place or entity using the name "Rancho Ortega" (or any similar name).

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Ladera Times Publishes Article About the Local “Bullying” Incident

We’ve been critical of the Ladera Times in the past, so when they publish a solid piece of journalism it is only fair that we point that out, too.  In the July issue of the Ladera Times reporter Amy Spurgeon-Hoffman has written a detailed, objective and interesting article about Robert Ayala, one of the two local teens (he’s 18) charged with a vicious on-camera beating of a fellow student that took place at Ladera’s Chaparral Elementary School.  The article goes into more biographical details on Ayala than we’ve read in other local news outlets and includes comments from a number of students who knew both the attackers and their victim.  (All three are said to be students at Tesoro High School.)  The article is available online here.  Please go to the Ladera Times web page and read the whole article, if you have not already done so in the print edition.

We’ve put “bullying” in quotes in the headline because while that is how the incident has been portrayed locally, this was no mere act of bullying.  This was assault and battery, or worse.  Don Juan Ortega has watched the disturbing video of the attack, and fully supports the decision of the Orange County District Attorney to pursue criminal charges against the two attackers with the “great bodily harm” enhancement.  In our opinion, attempting to strike a human being who has been rendered helpless or unconscious should be grounds for enhanced criminal penalties.

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