Statement by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas
South County Gang Injunction
Thank you for coming.
I have here with me the Mayor of San Juan Capistrano Sam Allevato, the Mayor of San Clemente Mayor Jim Dahl, Anaheim Police Chief John Welter, Santa Ana Police Chief Paul Walters, Chief Probation Officer Colleen Preciado, Chief Mike Betzler of San Juan Capistrano, and Chief Paul D’Auria of San Clemente.
The third and fourth gang injunctions in Orange County were signed today enjoining two rival criminal street gangs. 94 active members from San Clemente and 132 active members from San Juan Capistrano were enjoined from associating with their gang and terrorizing their communities.
This injunction was a coordinated effort among multiple agencies committed to protecting the quality of life for the good people who live and work in the affected neighborhoods.
I would like to thank and recognize the Cities of San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Juvenile Hall, the Department of Parole, and Colleen Preciado of the Department of Probation for their support and participation in the South County gang injunction.
I would especially like to recognize OCSD deputies and OCDA prosecutors, investigators and staff members on the gang enforcement team.
In 2004, three Marines who had recently returned home from defending our freedom in the Middle East were stabbed by several thug gang members in San Juan Capistrano. My staff and I went to visit them in the hospital and their homes. I promised these Marines that we would do everything we could to bring the perpetrators of that assault to justice. Unfortunately, despite the diligent efforts of the Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s Office, we have not been able to arrest those individuals who did the stabbing. This is unacceptable. We need to put this gang out of business and end the rival turf war between the worst two elements in South County.
San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano are two wonderful cities in California. This will be preserved by excising these cancerous tumors. Eradicating these rival gangs, who commit most of the crimes, is the equivalent of putting up a termite tent and exterminating the vermin which infect an otherwise gorgeous house.
Today Judge Didier signed two injunctions enjoining 226 members of rival South County gangs. This marks the third and fourth time in Orange County such an injunction was signed, but the first injunctions in which two rivals were enjoined at the same time.
By now, most of you know what a gang injunction does but let me remind you how it works. These are civil injunctions which enjoin gang members from associating with each other and terrorizing the neighborhood. An injunction is a civil order that restricts or prohibits individuals or a group from participating in specific acts or activities that may not be criminal. You can read the specific terms on that board. They basically prohibit the gang members from acting like gang members. The terms are designed to curb intimidating or harassing behavior. If an enjoined gang member violates the terms, he or she faces arrest and prosecution, and will be placed on gang probation terms or be sent to state prison for up to three years.