Police are searching for two South Bay men who they say beat up a 9-year-old boy who has autism.
In the early morning hours Monday, two men – one of whom was in a relationship with the boy’s mother – battered the child while he was asleep at home, police said. Both men then fled the scene.
"We’re extremely traumatized, extremely traumatized that somebody – two men – broke into our home at 2 a.m. and did this to my son," said Samantha Chavez-Alvarez, the boy's mother.
Police said they are looking for two men: 26-year-old Joseph Sanseverino and an 18-year-old known as Ethan.
Get a weekly recap of the latest San Francisco Bay Area housing news. Sign up for NBC Bay Area’s Housing Deconstructed newsletter.
"Joseph is my ex-boyfriend and Ethan is his friend, so that’s how we know them and that’s why it’s even more shocking and traumatizing that people that we knew that never showed signs of violence or anything like that were able to do something like this to us," Chavez-Alvarez said.
The victim’s family has been critical of police for not issuing arrest warrants. Police acknowledge they are moving carefully.
"Suspects and persons of interest, you know, at this point, we’re taking what the victim’s mother said and what the victim said at face value until we hear otherwise," Gilroy police Sgt. John Ballard said.
Police have not confirmed the two men are on the run but acknowledge investigators have not found a trace of them. They hope the public can help to track them down or convince them to turn themselves in.
Anyone with information should contact Officer Fraide at 408-846-0485. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the Gilroy PD tip line at 408-846-0330.