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Painted into a corner

Three adult students were suspended after being arrested in connection with paintball attacks. Two minors may also face charges.

February 16, 2011|By Gretchen Meier, gretchen.meier@latimes.com

At least three male students from Bellarmine-Jefferson High School remain suspended two weeks after being arrested in connection with a series of paintball attacks on pedestrians in Burbank.

The three 18-year-olds — Julian Stephens, of Studio City, Kevin Yuenyongsukal, of Los Angeles, Eric Monson, of Tujunga — remain suspended despite a lack of charges being filed against them. Burbank police officials say the investigation is ongoing into 13 yellow paint assaults on people, including a girl on a bike, seniors and a 16-year-old boy. Paintballs also hit and defaced buildings.

Two 17-year-olds were also arrested Feb. 2 in connection with the paintball hits, but their names have not been released because they are minors.

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Carolina Guevara, a spokeswoman for the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, of which Bellarmine-Jefferson is a member, said Stephens, Yuenyongsukal and Monson would remain suspended pending an investigation.

Guevara could not confirm the two 17-year-olds associated with the attacks were students without their names.

During the initial investigation, Burbank police served search warrants on one of the suspect's home where all five were arrested, said Sgt. Robert Quesada.

Stephens, Yuenyongsukal and Monson each posted $60,000 bail, while the two juveniles were released into the custody of their parents.

Miguel Enciso said he worries about his 86-year-old mother walking to St. Robert Bellarmine Church, especially in the morning near the time some of the attacks occurred.

"She is a little tentative about walking early in the morning, since that was the time the criminals struck," he said.

The majority of the attacks occurred just before the start of the school day or immediately after the last bell rang over the course of four school days. Enciso said he worries more students were involved who haven't been arrested.

Officials declined to release any information on the investigation, but urged residents to return to their routines.

As with any crime, police recommended getting solid descriptions of perpetrators and their vehicles.

"Vehicle descriptions helped out tremendously in catching these men," said Burbank Police Lt. Jay Hawver.

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