They strut the streets of Chinatown and Flushing in packs, knives secreted in satin jackets, biceps tattooed with dragons.
The teen thugs call themselves "A-E" for American Eagles or Asian Empire, and they mark a resurgence of organized Chinese street gangs.
"This is the first new Asian gang we've seen since all the heads of the Flying Dragons and Ghost Shadows went to jail," said one law enforcement source. "These kids are mostly into gang assaults right now, but we know they are organizing and the larger gangs have an eye on them."
The gang counts nearly 50 teenagers among its crew, an unusual merging of young immigrants from China's Fujian province and ABCs - American-born Chinese. The immigrant gangsters speak to their American-born counterparts in fractured English.
Since forming within the last year, they have staked out stretches of Mulberry St. in Chinatown and Main St. in Flushing, Queens, gang experts said. So far they have largely targeted black and Hispanic teens who trespass on their turf.
Inspector William Tartaglia, the commanding officer of the NYPD's gang division, said his detectives have been monitoring the American Eagles in recent months and said the gang is being kept in check.
"There have not been an alarming number of incidents involving them," Tartaglia said. "We have enough resources to track them and effectively deal with them."
But the Daily News has learned that the NYPD is forming an Asian-crime task force to deal with the gang and an influx of criminal activity in the immigrant Chinese community.
The task force harks back to the Jade Squad, a joint NYPD-Manhattan district attorney's office probe of crime in Chinatown that began in the 1980s.
This year alone, there has been a feud between rival bus companies that has sparked two murders and ongoing assaults.
And a dozen lawyers, restaurant owners and doctors with offices in Chinatown have been the victims of violent push-in robberies in recent months.
Although older gangs like the Ghost Shadows and Flying Dragons extorted merchants and set up mini-empires funded by prostitution and gambling in Chinatown, the American Eagles have begun to cut a violent swath outside lower Manhattan.
On Oct. 30, brothers Eddie and Omar Donis were standing outside a Duane Reade drugstore in Flushing when they were set upon by at least a dozen American Eagles members who beat them with baseball bats before slashing them with knives and broken bottles, according to a criminal complaint.
"These kids are all over the neighborhood, the A-E's. There are a lot of stories about them," said Eddie Donis, 15, who was stabbed in the stomach and underwent surgery to remove part of his damaged intestines.
Two teenagers were arrested in the attack on the Donis brothers, who are Hispanic. Bin Bin Dong, 16, and Zhong Huang, 18, both of Queens, were charged with gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
Dong, who has a dragon tattoo on his arm, admitted membership in the American Eagles, sources said.
Dong is suspected in other attacks that police believe were racially motivated, including multiple beatings of a black teen, Dennis Hoffman, who said the American Eagles shouted racial slurs at him during three separate attacks since March.
The most severe beating came Sept. 23, when the gangsters cracked his skull, a wound that required doctors to staple his scalp back together.
"These guys . . . are going around terrorizing people," said Hoffman, 15.