LOS ANGELES – Anti-gang officers and detectives arrested three men and two women suspected of taking part in a brutal carjacking and assault on a pregnant school teacher last week, the Los Angeles Police Department said Wednesday.
The victim suffered 11 stab wounds, a punctured lung and lost two teeth, but she is recovering and her baby is fine, police said.
All five suspects were apprehended within three days through an extensive investigation, witness statements, surveillance video and intelligence gathering, a department statement said.
The case was quickly presented to the Los Angeles County district attorney's hardcore gang division. All five were charged Monday with attempted murder, carjacking, robbery and hit-and-run. The filing includes gang enhancements against all defendants and additional aggravated mayhem and great bodily injury enhancements against one suspect.
The attack occurred March 20 in the Sunland area of northern Los Angeles.
The teacher was parking on a street outside her home when three men surrounded her vehicle and one asked to borrow her cellphone, police said.
"The victim refused, and one of the suspects punched and stabbed the victim multiple times as she remained seated in the driver's seat of her vehicle," the statement said. "The victim was then forcibly dragged out of her vehicle while another suspect removed property from inside the vehicle."
One assailant fled in a waiting car while two others stole the teacher's car but quickly crashed and then ran off.
The victim, first-grade teacher Tanya Nguyen, spoke from bed in an emotional Facebook video last weekend, saying she was overwhelmed by the support she has received.
"I'm going to get through this, I promise," she said.
A gofundme account was established to help pay her medical bills.