Tarek El Moussa recalls being arrested for attempted murder and almost being killed after getting involved in a violent gang fight as a teenager

Tarek El Moussa will be opening up about his troubled youth and how he changed the course of his life in his upcoming memoir.

In Flip Your Life, the reality TV personality, 42, opened up about being involved in a gang fight, which got him arrested for attempted murder and put into a juvenile detention center briefly.

He told People that he wanted to share the chilling stories from his childhood to show that ‘anybody can change’.

‘They just have to want to,’  said the HGTV star — who celebrated his and wife Heather’s son Tristan’s first birthday in Disneyland on Thursday.

In an excerpt of Flip Your Life shared with the outlet, he detailed a particularly scary fight he was involved in at the end of his sophomore year in high school.

Tarek El Moussa will be opening up about his troubled youth and how he changed the course of his life in his upcoming memoir. In Flip Your Life, the reality TV personality, 42, opened up about being involved in a gang fight, which got him arrested for attempted murder and put into a juvenile detention center briefly

Growing up, he said he lived in the ‘least rough neighborhood in a very rough area’ in California and was heavily influenced by gang culture. 

He recalled joining his friends and going to ‘settle the score’ after their rival gang started dating his buddy’s girlfriend.

After arriving at the agreed-upon location in a park, he said they watched the members of the rival gang arrive with weapons in the form of baseball bats and crowbars.

During the fight, he said an older guy, who was ‘maybe nineteen or twenty’, swung a baseball bat at him and broke his ribs.

At some point during the scuffle, El Moussa said he knocked the bat out of the other person’s hands and ended up striking him on the head with it, rendering him unconscious.

He recalled blacking out and seeing the older, adult members of the rival gang charging towards him with more weapons and intentions to seriously injure or ‘kill’ him.

It was then, he said that the police showed up, arrested him instead and ‘saved his life’.

He recalled being scared when he was handcuffed and thrown into a cell after the fight as he had been charged with assault and battery, aggravated assault, attempted murder, and assault with a deadly weapon.

In an excerpt of Flip Your Life shared with the outlet, he detailed a particularly scary fight he was involved in at the end of his sophomore year in high school. He said he almost died and ended up being arrested for attempted murder

In an excerpt of Flip Your Life shared with the outlet, he detailed a particularly scary fight he was involved in at the end of his sophomore year in high school. He said he almost died and ended up being arrested for attempted murder

As for why he wanted to include this terrible tale in his book, he said he wanted to open up about an experience that shaped who he is today. Over two decades later, he has now hosted a variety of shows and become a HGTV household name. He has become a multimillionaire and father of three children

As for why he wanted to include this terrible tale in his book, he said he wanted to open up about an experience that shaped who he is today. Over two decades later, he has now hosted a variety of shows and become a HGTV household name. He has become a multimillionaire and father of three children

‘I’ll never forget,’ he told People. ‘I was terrified when I was there, because the charges I had were really bad charges, and I didn’t know if I was going to be there for days or years.’ 

As a part of a neighborhood gang as a teen, he also admitted he was involved in many other violent fights and this particular one he opened up about was not even the worse.

‘That one had the most extreme consequences for me, but that was not the most extreme,’ he recalled. ‘I’ve been in shootings, I’ve been in knife fights, I’ve been hit in the face with a bat. You name it, I’ve had it.’ 

 As for why he wanted to include this terrible tale in his book, he said he wanted to open up about an experience that shaped who he is today.

‘It’s part of my story,’ he shared. ‘We’re all a product of our environment, and I grew up in that environment. In order to thrive in that environment, you have to do certain things.’ 

Following that fight and his arrest, he said: ‘I still got in a little bit of trouble here and there, but it was a big enough incident where it made me really, really think about things.’

He shares daughter Taylor, 13, and son Brayden, eight, with ex Christina Hall as well as 12-month-old Tristan with wife Heather Rae El Moussa

He shares daughter Taylor, 13, and son Brayden, eight, with ex Christina Hall as well as 12-month-old Tristan with wife Heather Rae El Moussa

He married his current wife in 2021, and the couple just celebrated their son Tristan's first birthday

He married his current wife in 2021, and the couple just celebrated their son Tristan’s first birthday

He was married to Hall from 2009 to 2018; seen in September 2016

He was married to Hall from 2009 to 2018; seen in September 2016

Over two decades later, he has now hosted a variety of shows and become a HGTV household name.

He has become a multimillionaire and a father of three children.

He shares daughter Taylor, 13, and son Brayden, eight, with ex Christina Hall as well as 12-month-old Tristan with wife Heather Rae El Moussa.

‘That’s why I shared what I shared,’ he explained. ‘[To show] you can literally be a gang banger right now, robbing people, and you can flip your life.’

Flip Your Life: How to Find Opportunity in Distress — in Real Estate, Business, and Life will be available on February 6.

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