Murrieta police investigate after two teens allegedly attacked returning from protest

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The Murrieta Police Department's station in Murrieta Town Square. Valley News/Will Fritz file photo

A Murrieta father says his teenage daughters were attacked while coming home from a Murrieta-area Black Lives Matter protest last month, and the allegations have sparked an investigation from the Murrieta Police Department.

While Murrieta police confirmed they launched an investigation, the Murrieta police chief said on Thursday that the case was submitted to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office for review, and that no charges have been filed yet.

Levi Lujan of Murrieta said his daughters, ages 18 and 13, attended a protest at the intersection of Winchester and Murrieta Hot Springs roads on June 26.

The two — whose names Valley News is not publishing at their father’s request — were physically assaulted by a neighbor when they returned to their neighborhood off Hunter Road around 6 p.m., he said.

Lujan said the neighbor was walking her dogs along with two children when the alleged attack occurred.

“They were on the opposite side of the street and they came across to the other side of the street — they were walking in opposite directions,” Lujan said.

He said his daughters were carrying protest signs — one which said “Black Lives Matter,” and another that said “Make America NOT racist for the first time” — that apparently caught the neighbor’s attention.

Lujan provided a written account from one of his daughters of the incident.

“We were walking on (Hunter Road) for about 5 mins,” according to Lujan’s 18-year-old daughter. “This is when we saw a woman with 5 huskies, and two young girls helping to walk the dogs. They were on the opposite side of the street, walking in the opposite direction. We saw them turn around,  jay walk across the street, they were now in front of us walking towards us. The Mom pointed at our sign and she said, ‘Your signs are garbage and you need to throw them away.’” 

According to Lujan’s older daughter’s account of events, the woman who allegedly initiated the attack accused Lujan’s younger daughter of kicking one of her dogs, which the daughters denied. The woman then followed the pair, the older daughter said.

“We were 2 houses away from our house,” the older daughter wrote. “We turned around and saw her running toward the corner into our neighborhood.”

She said while they tried to get away from her, the woman repeatedly shouted at them before the confrontation turned physical.

“She didn’t listen to us and kept repeating, ‘You want to start something stupid’ and then tried to grab the sign out of (the other daughter’s) hand,” the older daughter wrote. “I didn’t know what she was going to do, I was afraid she was going to hit (my sister). I tried to protect my sister and took a swing at the Mom. That is when the Mom attacked me, and she hit my head and my face. One of the daughters … said “Mom stop!” The other daughter, jumped in to hit me in the head and face.”

Lujan’s older daughter said while her younger sister tried to defend her, “I remember getting hit multiple times in the face and the head,” before seeing the younger sister being attacked by the alleged assailant’s daughters.

“It seems like it lasted 5 minutes, until a neighbor … ran up to us and separated (the alleged assailant and Lujan’s other daughter) and eventually the daughter got off of me,” Lujan’s older daughter wrote.

Lujan said his sister — his daughters’ aunt — was able to track down the woman who allegedly attacked them when she found a picture on Facebook of a woman with five huskies in their neighborhood.

“When we saw the picture we knew it was her,” Lujan said.

Valley News is not identifying the alleged attacker either, as she did not respond to a request for comment and has not been charged with a crime at this time.

Lujan said he filed a restraining order against the woman, but was denied. He said he simply wants his daughters to be safe.

“My kids got hurt on our street coming home wanting to go home, trying to avoid any kind of problem with this person,” Lujan said.

Murrieta Police Chief Sean Hadden provided the following response when Valley News reached out about the alleged attack.

“In reference to the incident involving the teenage children of Levi Lujan, after some further investigation by detectives this week, the case will now be submitted to the district attorney for review and consideration of possible charges,” Hadden said.

Will Fritz can be reached by email at wfritz@reedermedia.com.