By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
By Jesse Marx
By Jesse Marx
By Maggie LaMaack
By Jake Rossen
"Shut up, bitch," they spat back, bringing the bat across her back.
As they kicked Duong, he began to seize. Only then did the crew pile back into the car, believing their victim was dying.
As Duong was rushed to the hospital with a fractured skull, ruptured spleen and brain swelling, Zavala and his friends returned to a party. They bragged about the attack and wondered aloud if they ought to kill the two girls who had witnessed the crime from the truck.
"We thought Michael was going to die," says Rome Hanson, the executive director of the Ben Doran Foundation, a victims' support group that drummed up reward money for the capture of Duong's attackers. "He was in really bad shape."
Zavala's roommate told police that he packed up his belongings two days later and left town. While the other attackers were caught and pleaded guilty to attempted murder, Zavala seemingly fell off the face of the planet.
Although Duong survived, he'll never be the same. In a statement read to his two convicted attackers, he wrote, "I do things very slow and it makes me feel uneasy. I feel like the world is putting weight on me."
Jimmi Charly Cruz-Garcia
In a field down a secluded county road, an 18-year-old woman called for help. No one could hear her. The man who'd forced her there, 27-year-old Jimmi Charly Cruz-Garcia, had taken her cell phone from her. He beckoned her back to his car.
The girl was an exchange student living with a local family. She and Cruz-Garcia, a dark-eyed man from San Salvador, took English classes together at a community center. One day after class, he asked if she'd like to get something to eat.
After 10 minutes in the car, she began to wonder why Cruz-Garcia was driving away from civilization. She asked to go back, but he said he only wanted to talk. Frightened, she texted a friend, saying she was being kidnapped.
Cruz-Garcia parked the car and began groping her. When she ran again, he chased her and dragged her back by her clothes.
In the car, he forced her to give him oral sex. Afterward, she was sobbing so hard that he stopped the attack.
The car had become stuck in the field. Cruz-Garcia asked a friend to pick them up, and the two men drove her back to Rochester. On the way, he snapped her cell phone into pieces and threw them out the window. When they let her out, she ran directly to a nearby motel, where the clerk called 911.
Police found the car still stuck in the field, but neither Cruz-Garcia nor his friend were ever located. Rossman says the brazen nature of Cruz-Garcia's attack is what makes him so dangerous.
"Obviously he's a violent person," he says. "He'll do it again if he's not prosecuted."
It was 3 a.m. when the 13-year-old girl's bedroom door swung open. She awoke to find her stepfather, Elias Cruz Torres, standing beside her bed holding a knife.
"It must have seemed to the victim like a violent attack that came out of nowhere," says Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner.
Holding her at knifepoint, he raped her. Afterward, he stashed the knife under the girl's bed and left the room.
The next evening, Torres was left alone with his stepdaughter. He told her he would kill her if she didn't get into his car. He drove her from her home in St. Paul to a building in Minneapolis where he worked as a cleaner. Forcing her into an empty room, he raped her again.
Meanwhile, the girl's mother had become concerned. She called their mutual employer, who drove to Torres's house in St. Paul, where the girl was found sobbing and shaking.
The cops arrived, and the girl was taken to Regions Hospital. Torres didn't come home and was never heard from again.
"There are fugitives, and then there are FUGITIVES, in all capital letters," says Gaertner. "This is the kind of crime that we would prosecute vigorously, no matter how long it takes to find the defendant."