Least hard-core L.A. County criminal ever. (Close second: The escaped inmate caught riding a little girl's stolen pink bicycle down the street, knees akimbo.)
Of all the debauchery that could have put known Bassett Grande gang member Jose Castrejon behind bars, he ended up being nabbed by Sheriff's investigators in April 2010 for — single tear — stealing a little girl's puppy.
The 9-year-old had just exited a neighborhood market after buying her brand-new baby pit bull, Mia, a nice pink collar …
… when the 26-year-old gangster “snuck up behind the unsuspected little girl and grabbed the puppy from behind the neck,” reads the Sheriff's report. (Ha! Mama-kitty-style.) The press release for Castrejon's arrest is a real heart-wrencher:
Castrejon pulled with such force; he easily overpowered the defenseless victim. The little girl held the leash in her hand, still attached to the puppy's neck.
Store surveillance video captured the robbery, which depicts the victim sliding across the sidewalk. The little girl was no match for Castrejon and she could not hold on to the leash. Castrejon entered his truck with the dog and sped away.
Now, as if dude's street cred could sink any further into the red, a judge at the Pomona Superior Court has sentenced him to six years for the puppy heist.
The harsh sentence was reportedly based largely on “compelling video evidence” presented by the L.A. County District Attorney.
Just last summer, the Bassett Grande gang — along with arch nemesis Puente 13 — was the target of the largest gang injunction in L.A. County history. From ABC7:
The gang-injunction area includes Bassett Park on the 500 block of Vineland Avenue, and La Puente Park on the 500 block of North Glendora Avenue. The injunction area also includes the city of Industry, part of West Covina and parts of unincorporated areas of Avocado Heights, Bassett, South San Jose Hills, West Puente Valley and Valinda, according to the district attorney's office.
Anyway, the gang's newest celebrity is definitely softening the Bassett Grande legacy. Really gives new meaning to “Pick on someone your own size.”
Update: We forgot to mention (!) that this story has a happy ending. From the saps on the Sheriff's press detail:
Jose Castrejon was arrested a day after the robbery. “Mia” the puppy was recovered from Jose Castrejon and reunited with the victim. She was then able to place the new pink collar on her new puppy.