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Gang suspects arraigned: Lynn police beef up patrols following two days of violence
By Thor Jourgensen
Saturday, August 21, 2004

LYNN -- A District Court judge ordered alleged gang members jailed for the weekend and longer as Police Chief John Suslak Friday warned that police and the public must work together to curb youth gang violence.

The arrests of 27 suspected gang members Thursday following four stabbings on Wednesday and the beating of a 17-year-old seeking to leave a gang Thursday brought the city's ongoing gang problem to a head.

"What we are seeing is a very serious concern to us. The injuries involved could have been fatal," Suslak said.

The chief said additional police officers are patrolling local streets this weekend to curb gang activity. District Court probation officers and state Department of Youth Services workers will assist them.

The past two-day's worth of gang activity has been focused on Cook Street in the Highlands, Ames Playground off Franklin Street and Whiting Street off Lynn Common.

All three locations have been the sources of neighborhood complaints about noisy or disruptive youth or suspected gang activity. Lynn police have identified a youth gang problem that spans the city ranging from West Lynn to the Highlands and compiled information on gang members, gang rituals and names.

"These are people who have adopted a destructive lifestyle. They have little respect for the police and the courts," Suslak said.

He urged residents to continue providing police information about gang activity, including any signs of weapons.

"If you see something happening, report it. I know people can be intimidated by these people, but I love to see the public involved."

One community activist said teenagers must be given alternatives to the status, money and protection gangs offer kids.

"I'm hoping the city could offer more structured environments and alternatives to hanging out on the street," Yolanda Morris, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's Lynn chapter, said.

Morris went to District Court Friday after concerned parents, including fathers and mothers of alleged gang members, called her.

She listened as Judge Paul Buckley reviewed charges of assault and battery with a shod foot, assault and battery on a child under 18 to join or leave a gang and disorderly conduct against 20 suspected gang members who beat the 17-year-old in Cook Street Playground.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Sheehan said the victim had "grass stains, numerous red marks and sneaker marks on his back" when he sought police help following the beating.

Buckley revoked bail for some of the gang members who had prior offenses, released some on personal recognizance and ordered five others held over the weekend pending appointment of court counsel next Tuesday.

Six youth who attempted to stop police from arrested a Woburn youth Thursday night also appeared in District and Juvenile courts Friday, including Vannack Sok, 19, 46 Rockaway St., who was ordered held on an outstanding firearms violation and returned to court on Oct. 15.

Sheehan said Sok used "numerous racial slurs to arresting officers."

Posted Mon 23 Aug, 2004 01:11:

Twenty seven nabbed in spate of Lynn gang violence
By James Haynes
Friday, August 20, 2004

LYNN -- In the wake of Wednesday night's violence, Lynn police rounded up 27 suspected gang members Thursday, including 20 teens allegedly caught in the act of brutally beating a teenager at a local playground.

Members of the Lynn Police Gang Unit and uniformed officers responded to the Cook Street Playground shortly before 5:30 p.m. after an officer was flagged down by a 17-year-old Lynn male, who appeared to be bleeding and contused. The alleged victim told officers he was being 'jumped out' of the Soldiers/Deuce Boyz gang, and had been thrown to the ground, beaten and kicked for at least 10 seconds before he was able to flee.

As an initiation ritual, new gang members are commonly 'jumped', or beaten, into gangs by members when they join, and often beaten far more severely when they attempt to leave. The 'jumping out' ordeal is often used as a disincentive, an implied threat to keep members involved with the gang.

Officers responding to the playground found 20 members, including four juvenile boys and girls, of the Soldiers/Deuce Boyz (gang investigators said the groups appear in the process of merging) in the park. Officers informed the group that all were under arrest, and being charged with assault and battery on a child under 18 to join or leave a gang, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (shod foot), and disorderly conduct.

Those arrested include: Nelson Cruz, 21, 150 Hamilton Ave.; Endui Noesi, 23, 3 Alice Ave.; Handy Iraola, 18, 15 Cauden St., Roxbury; William Rivera, 19, 66 Chestnut St., Cambridge; Wilfredo Colon, 17, 254 Broadway, Malden; Jose Cruz, 17, 12 Stanley Terrace; Jonathan Carillo, 20, 445 Essex St.; Marlon Briceno, 18, 3 Mason St., Salem; Angelo Macaya, 19, 1 Union St.; Donald Oliver, 19, 85 Timson St.; Aramis Lopez, 21, 34 Sanderson Ave.; Jesse Crime, 17, 19 Daniels Place; Lindsay Schmitt, 19, 6 Traveli Road, Revere; Renzo DeRoche, 17, 1732 Sterling St., Brooklyn NY; Brian Medina, 19, 498 Essex St., and Debra Demars, 18, 27 Hollingsworth St.

Officers searching the effects and vehicles of the arrests also found drugs and weapons. Cruz was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana, a school zone drug violation and possession of a dangerous weapon when officers searching his car allegedly found baggies of marijuana and several butterfly knives. Iraola was charged with illegal possession of ammunition, and a 16-year-old Dover, N.H., girl was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and a school zone drug violation.

Only 25 minutes after the Cook Street beating, in an unrelated incident, officers arrested seven suspects, many of whom police said appear to be members of local Asian gangs associated with the Crips, including the Asian Boyz and the Khmer Crip Gang. Officers working in the area near the intersection of Henry and Lawton avenues reportedly spotted Shawn Davis, 18, a Woburn resident wanted on warrants. As officers attempted to arrest Davis, they were allegedly accosted by six other youths, all of whom appeared armed.

Arrested were: Shawn Davis, 18, 6 Border St., Woburn; Sitha Bun, 51 New Park St.; Vibol Hok, 17, 108 Franklin St.; Vannak Sok, 19, 46 Rockaway St.; Sothea Chen, 17, 5 Oxford St., Lynn, and two juvenile males, 15 and 16, both from Lynn. All were charged with possession of dangerous weapons, failure to disperse and disorderly conduct. Davis was additionally charged with a city knife ordinance violation and the 15-year-old was charged with possession of marijuana.

As of 10 p.m. Thursday, the vestibule of Lynn Police station was packed with friends, family and fellow gang members inquiring, and when possible, bailing suspects. Outside the station, passersby could clearly hear gang members of opposing gang shouting at one another in the holding cells. A relative of one of the juvenile girls arrested in the Cook Street assault left the station in tears after being told the girl couldn't be bailed, and could be seen in the middle of a bitter recrimination with the girl, who screamed at her through a window in the cellblock.

The recent spate of violence has prompted a sweep of local gangs, said officers Thursday, and police said extra officers have been hired on for well into this weekend in the hopes of quashing further outbreaks.

Posted Mon 23 Aug, 2004 01:12:

Bloody night in Lynn as at least four youths are stabbed in gang violence
By James Haynes and Jill Casey
Thursday, August 19, 2004

LYNN -- An outbreak of gang violence kept police scrambling as officers responded to a series of stabbings that left two hospitalized Wednesday night.

Investigators had one suspect in custody and were searching for two more, in connection with a series of fights that resulted in four stabbings as of press time.

Two victims suffered serious injuries, including a 17-year-old male who was in surgery at Salem Hospital at approximately 11 p.m., being treated for a wound police described as "serious, but not life threatening."

A second victim, a 14-year-old male, was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital. Police declined to release further information on the younger victim or his condition, due to his age.

James Blood, a 21-year-old Ford Street resident, was arrested shortly after 8 p.m. and charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a broomstick, for alleged involvement in one of the attacks.

Police said evidence and interviews with witnesses suggest the assaults, which began shortly before 7:30 p.m., are gang-related.

The incidents began with a clash near the intersection of North Common Street and Whiting Avenue. Police said the brawl left two injured, an 18-year-old female, and the 17-year-old male.

The groups fled before police arrived, but officers reported finding abandoned weapons in the area. According to radio transmissions between officers, at least one victim identified attackers as being members of the Crips gang, and suggested they gathered on Arlington Street.

Only minutes later, another assault was reported near 70 Franklin St. The victim, who reportedly suffered stab wounds to the back and buttocks, fled the area, and had not been found by police as of press time.

The fourth followed quickly, an apparent retaliatory stabbing of the 14-year-old juvenile male. The boy, who was apparently attacked on Strawberry Avenue, was able to run to the area of 139 Franklin St., shortly before 9 p.m.

Police on scene interviewed witnesses, and spoke to a small group of local teenagers at the scene, an interview which ended with officers placing at least two members of the group, a young man and woman, under arrest for apparent disorderly conduct.

Officers arrested the male first, after he struck the hood of a nearby car, and then the female, after she berated and allegedly spat at one of the arresting officers.

Neighbors on Franklin Street said they were appalled, but unfortunately unsurprised by the swell in violence. Some described the youth gangs as a regular fixture in the area.

"This area, this is always going on," said Nelson Markito, who owns an apartment building across the street from the site of the fourth stabbing. "This area is crazy."

"It's bad," agreed a man standing nearby, who declined to be identified. "I got a little son, and I don't want him growing up around here."
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