|For Immediate Release
July 11, 2008
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
FIFTH ORANGE COUNTY GANG INJUNCTION
SIGNED AGAINST 68 ACTIVE MEMBERS
OF ORANGE CRIMINAL STREET GANG
SANTA ANA – A preliminary injunction was signed today by the Honorable Daniel Didier against an Orange criminal street gang to enjoin gang members from terrorizing their community and acting as a public nuisance.
This injunction is the fifth in Orange County. The gang injunctions were served individually to 68 named gang members, as well as to the parents of juveniles, on June 4, 2008, by more than 80 officers representing eight agencies throughout Orange County. The injunction was a cooperative effort between the Cities of Anaheim, Garden Grove, Orange, Placentia and Tustin, the Orange Police Department, Orange County District Attorney, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Orange County Probation Department, and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
WHAT IS AN INJUNCTION?
A gang injunction is a civil order that restricts or prohibits documented gang members from participating in specific acts or activities that may not be criminal. The terms are designed to curb intimidating or harassing behavior. If an enjoined gang member violates the terms, he or she will be arrested and face prosecution. This can be misdemeanor prosecution for disobeying a court order or felony prosecution if the violation was for the benefit of the criminal street gang. The defendant will be placed on gang probation terms or be sent to state prison for up to three years.
The defendants named in the injunction are known to be active participants in Orange criminal street gangs. Only the most active and well-documented gang members are enjoined. Each gang member has been documented by personal admission of affiliation, associating with known gang members, dressing in the style of the gang or having gang tattoos, possessing gang paraphernalia, and/or committing crimes for the benefit of the gang.
The terms of the Orange gang injunction include a restriction that prohibits any association of named defendants with any other named defendant of their respective gang. Association includes standing, sitting, walking, driving, bicycling, gathering, or appearing anywhere in public or public view with any known member of the gang. The terms also maintain that there can be no intimidation, drugs, alcohol in public, guns or dangerous weapons, fighting, trespassing, blocking free passage, graffiti or vandalism, gang hand signs, gang clothes, burglary tools, acting as a lookout, or littering, and the defendants must obey curfew and all laws.
The Orange criminal street gang is a violent, traditional turf-oriented gang with approximately 150 documented members that has been active since 1990. Officers identified and served 68 gang members, including 17 juveniles plus 17 parents of juveniles, and one injunction naming the Orange gang as a whole.
The 1.4 square mile Safety Zone consists of residential and commercial areas located primarily west of the 55 State Route Freeway and throughout Eisenhower Park, two small unattached areas (Parker-La Veta and Hoover Wilson), and Highland Street between Lincoln Avenue and Palmyara Avenue.
Between January 2005 and December 2007, criminal activity within the Safety Zone resulted in the documentation of five gang murder participants, four attempted murder participants, 57 firearm or dangerous weapons violations, 8 blockings of free passage, 34 fights, four stolen vehicles, 20 drug or paraphernalia related incidents, 11 trespasses, 55 graffiti crimes, 11 burglaries or burglar tools, 305 loitering calls, 46 intimidations, 55 curfew violations, 62 gang clothing, and 524 associations with the street gang. Additional crimes in these categories occurred but were not documented because many citizens that live and work in these neighborhoods are reluctant to cooperate with police because they fear retaliation from the gang.
Graffiti is often used as a method to intimidate the rival gang or issue them disrespect. This graffiti is used by the gang to mark their territory and acts as a warning to dissuade residents from going to the police, as advertising for their most recent activities, or to denounce the police or other entities.
RESIDENTS IN THE SAFETY ZONE COMPLAINED TO LAW ENFORCEMENT
“I do not let my kids go out and play freely. I think twice before I go out to walk with my kids at night due to the problems in the area.”
“The gang problem has affected my life because I am afraid for myself and my husband, but especially for my three children. Every time they leave, I worry that a gang member may shoot at them, attack them with knives or just hit them with their fists. I don’t want my children to leave the house and worry the entire time they are gone. I have also heard the gang members yell, ‘(their gang name).’ I think they do this to intimidate us who live in the area.”
“On one occasion, three (name) gang members came into the store with the intentions of stealing beer. I suspected what they were going to do, so I asked them to leave. Two of them left, and one remained. He told me that I did not know who I was messing with, that they would return and harm me and my store.”