In middle of beating, suspects realized they were attacking wrong man, officials say

Molina, Hernandez and Miniex are accused of beating a father in St. Clair County on July 8 (Credit: St. Clair County Sheriff's Department)

ST. CLAIR COUNTY ( – Three men are accused of mob action after allegedly beating the “wrong person” in St. Clair County.

During the early morning hours of July 8, The St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department said the 38-year-old victim was returning home after a night out with his family, including his 31-year-old wife and children, when a white pickup truck came up after them and someone inside began firing shots at their GMC Yukon. The victim’s vehicle was struck at least six times and one of the bullets missed the children in the back seat by an inch.

News 4 talked with the man's daughter who was in the back seat of the car that night. We chose to hide her identity since she is a victim.

"We just were driving, my parents were talking, we were listening to music when all of the sudden we hear gunshots," said the daughter.

The father stopped the car along Stowers Lane thinking they had a flat tire and got out, according to the daughter. That's when the three men jumped from their truck and attacked him, causing head injuries and wounds to his arms. While beating and pistol-whipping the man, the three suspects determined they were after the wrong person and drove off, according to the sheriff’s department.

“When deputies responded to this scene they found it a miracle that none of the children were killed, much less not wounded. This was a horrible case of mistaken identity and those charged are lucky to not be facing murder charges,” said St. Clair County Sheriff Capt. Bruce Fleshren.

"Honestly I'm glad we’re all ok, it hurts that I saw my dad hurt like that, but knowing that I could have been killed or my sister I’m just glad nothing happened," said the daughter.

The father declined to receive medical treatment at the scene.

Investigators were able to identify the suspects and take them all into custody in late July.

Alex T. Molina, 35, Salvador Hernandez, 24, and Ryan S. Miniex, 31, were all charged with mob action. Miniex was additionally charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.

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