Mom of the Year Cheers on Son as He Fights Another Boy; Gets Arrested
The Rev. Johnny Montalvo of Victory Outreach Church in Modesto works with youth who are troubled or in gangs. He was driving home with his son and daughter when he noticed a large group of kids, two of whom were fighting, in front of a home on Agresti Drive.He quickly made a U-turn, honking at the crowd before getting out of his car to intervene. As seen in the cell phone video uploaded on YouTube, Montalvo told the kids to stop fighting but an indignant Jennifer Zuniga told him it's her house, her front yard, and she could do whatever she wanted.Spouting profanities, Zuniga, 33, can be heard repeatedly telling her son “Rito” to beat up the other boy. Both are 14.Zuniga told Montalvo the other boy had been bullying her son and that was how she was handling it. He said Zuniga kept “rattling on” like that, but he turned his attention to the boys.”I was trying to stop the fighting, and I was just trying to talk to them and tell them that was not the path to follow,” he said.
An anonymous tipster alerted police to the presence of the video online. Detective Darren Venn identified the boys involved and tracked down Zuniga, who was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of child endangerment and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. She is free on $25,000 bail.
Zuniga did not answer the door Wednesday at the home were the fight took place. Police said Wednesday that Child Protective Services is investigating the case. And investigators revealed new details of the case, saying the fight started with “an exchange of stares and derogatory statements” at Blaker Kinser Junior High School, according to Berber. Police said Zuniga, along with her son and daughter, approached her son's adversary as he was walking home. They told him to come to their house so the two could fight, police said. Blaker Kinser Junior High assistant principal Eve Quesada called Zuniga's behavior scary, sad and outrageous.
“I have had conversations with parents that you can tell think fighting is an OK way to handle a disagreement,” Quesada said. “But I have never seen that kind of overt encouraging of a fight.”
Here's the video.