LANCASTER –Dozens of family members and loved ones gathered in front of the Mango Tango nightclub Tuesday evening to remember 49-year-old Luciano Meza Juarez, the man who died after a brutal assault at the nightclub on Sept. 28.
Holding flowers, balloons and pictures, loved ones took turns sharing heartfelt stories about Juarez. They also signed messages on a poster bearing Juarez’s picture. Juarez was a construction worker who had a “big heart for everyone,” loved to have fun and never caused any trouble, family members said. He is survived by his wife Maria Palacios, three children, and three grandchildren.
Sheriff’s detectives have released little details about the incident that claimed Juarez’s life, saying only that he was “the victim of an assault at a local bar.” Detectives said one suspect is in custody, but they have not released the name of the suspect.
The assault was reported around 12:37 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 28, at Mango Tango, in the 44200 Block of Division Street in Lancaster, detectives said.
Juarez was at the nightclub with his 24-year-old son and some friends to dance and have a good time, family members said.
Victor Palacios said he left his father dancing with some buddies and went to meet a friend at a gas station.
“When I left, that’s when everything had happened,” Palacios said. “When I came back, there was already cop cars everywhere.”
Sister-in-law Maria Zamora said detectives told the family Juarez was assaulted in the bathroom and passed away at the nightclub.
Zamora said she spoke to witnesses who said there were at least two assailants.
“There’s people that saw, when the door to the bathroom was open, that he was convulsing from the trauma and the two people were still hitting him and kicking him,” Zamora said, adding that one of the assailants also searched Juarez’s pockets.
Sheriff’s officials said Juarez died of a head injury.
“He got beaten [in the head] with the urinal on the wall,” Zamora said.
Family members are asking for the public’s help in finding the second assailant and bringing him to justice. Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
The family is also hosting a car wash fundraiser this Saturday, Oct. 5, to help cover the cost of burying Juarez in his native Mexico. The fundraiser will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 5, at the Smog & Gas Station, located at 1007 West Avenue I in Lancaster. For more information on this fundraiser, contact Dr. Miguel Coronado at Agents of Change at 661-466-6810.
“As a representative of this community, as a representative of the Latino community, I’m going to exhaust all my efforts to make sure that these people come to justice and that they be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Coronado said.
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