In what prosecutors are calling “a savage series of crimes,” the last of six teenagers arrested in a string of random beatings and robberies in Menlo Park appeared in court Monday.
Retired Commissioner Joseph Gruber set Sipukako Tony Vailala’s bail at $50,000 in the case. Vailala, 18, remains in San Mateo County jail along with his codefendants, 18-year-olds John Mahe, Malakai Mataele and Holomesi Tuineau. A 14-year-old and a 17-year-old remain in juvenile hall. All of the teens have pleaded not guilty.
Each faces three counts of robbery, one count of commercial burglary and three counts of felony assault — charges that carry up to 10 years in state prison for the adults in the case.
Next, they allegedly attacked a 63-year-old man, leaving him hospitalized with a blood clot on the brain and a fractured nose, eye socket and jaw.
“It’s just a pack of wolves mentality” said Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
Prosecutors believe the group then spotted a 37-year-old man and attacked him, stealing his cell phone. The victim suffered severe cuts and bruises. He was treated at Stanford Hospital and released.