Red-rosary-wearing teen was punched for wearing 'gang color'

Man pleads not guilty in alleged attack that cut off the religious object with a knife

A man who allegedly attacked an East Palo Alto teenager because the boy was wearing a red rosary and red shoes pleaded not guilty in San Mateo Superior Court on Thursday, Dec. 19.

Edgar Cibrian, 24, allegedly punched the teen because he thought the boy was wearing a gang color, according to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

The teen and his 30-year-old female cousin were walking home from a grocery store on East O'Keefe Street on May 17 at 1 p.m. Cibrian and another male allegedly approached the pair and demanded to know if the teen was gang banging. The victim said he was not, but Cibrian allegedly punched him in the face three times, according to the DA's office.

Cibrian allegedly held a knife to the teen's neck and cut off the rosary. He allegedly told the female cousin that if she called police, he would kill her and her whole family, according to Wagstaffe's office. Cibrian then fled in a car.

East Palo Alto police investigating the case identified Cibrian as a suspect, and the cousin positively identified him, Wagstaffe's office said.

Cibrian is charged with second-degree robbery, being a convicted gang member committing a violent felony, use of a deadly or dangerous weapon in the commission of a felony, and dissuading a witness under threat. He faces up to 16 years in state prison if convicted of all charges. He remains in custody on $185,000 bail. His jury trial is scheduled for on April 1, 2014.

He is on parole for felony witness intimidation, the DA's office said. Cibrian and several others were charged with intimidating witnesses in the 2009 murder trial of Redwood City teen Josue Orozco, 14. Orozco was the youngest person in San Mateo County history to be charged as an adult. The jury deadlocked in his murder trial, but during his second trial, Orozco pleaded guilty to lesser charges of voluntary manslaughter and witness intimidation. He was sentenced to 43 years in prison.


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Posted by SoSueMe2012
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 22, 2013 at 2:29 am

Hopefully, come springtime, Edgar Cibrian will exchange his red gang colors for a bright orange jumpsuit. Sounds pretty clear cut, esp. with the teen's cousin right there next to him as a witness. Good show Cibrian, quite the brave man you are bullying an unarmed teenager. Real show of courage and strength there, big man. [Portion removed.]

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Posted by Edgar Cayce
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Dec 22, 2013 at 1:14 pm

I hope this guy gets life!

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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 22, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Three strikes exists for people like this lowlife. Stop trying to weaken the law..

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Abe Mitchell
a resident of Meadow Park
on Dec 23, 2013 at 10:24 am

Where do these "Muppets" come from? This one in particular deserves the book to be thrown upon him, as he worthy of whatever the judge gives him.

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Posted by Dean
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 23, 2013 at 10:28 am

Again, in the interest of full disclosure, I'm a former Midtown resident.

Sounds like a Hate Crime to me as the victim was singled out for display of religious material, albeit the color may have been the precipitating factor.

Difficult to say what the perp's true motivations were.

The jury will sort that out.

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Posted by Raymond
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 23, 2013 at 10:36 am

EVERYONE should be outraged by some idiot thinking it's his business what color you can wear in public! I call for Public Humiliation of ANY person with Gang Affiliations.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Raymond R.
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 23, 2013 at 10:48 am

Actually now a refugee in Mountain View. Enforcement of immigration laws might have reduced inflows to levels permitting more successful assimilation.

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Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park
on Dec 23, 2013 at 10:51 am

Raymond R got it right.

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Posted by parent
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 23, 2013 at 10:57 am

That idiotic presumption about color-wearing is not confined to EPA gang-bangers. Our very own PA Police Dept. is always harassing young males for wearing so-called gang colors. Don't they realize that ONE OF THE GUNN TITAN COLORS IS RED !!!

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Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 23, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Hear, hear, Raymond R. So good to see another thug off the streets.

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Posted by redbluecontinues
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 23, 2013 at 7:53 pm

I've taught gang members for years and to get around school restrictions some kids wear red crucifixes, others wear blue. Kids used to get around gang restrictions with the 49er jersey (red) or Sharks (blue) gear. It's all a game of cat and mouse.

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Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 24, 2013 at 12:10 am

I have said it before, and I will say it again. All this gang stuff is just "us vs them" baby games played out with deadly weapons. Given time, they will grow out of it, if they don't kill someone along the way. Their world is so small, and they classify anyone not in their world as "them".

I pray for these kids, that they will grow up before they hurt anyone, that they will realize there is a world beyond the little world they live in. This one seems beyond hope, but can others be saved?

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Posted by Palo Alto parent
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 24, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Rosaries are not jewelry, the are not meant to be worn.

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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 25, 2013 at 10:29 pm

How stupid do you have to be to not know what a rosary is, or to think that anyone wearing a certain color is your enemy? Past a certain point having lots of stupid people in our society that are good for nothing that we end up having to pay expensive prison sentences for is just as dangerous and maybe more than terrorism.

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