Cooley, Delgadillo Seek Gang Injunction In Watts
POSTED: 12:56 p.m. PDT August 28, 2003
LOS ANGELES — District Attorney Steve Cooley and City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo said Thursday they are joining forces against a gang accused of sowing terror in the Watts area for more than three decades. Cooley and Delgadillo are seeking an injunction against the Bounty Hunters, a gang blamed for repeated “assaults, robberies and … gunfire,” according to the civil complaint filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. It is the 17th injunction the City Attorney’s Office has filed with the court. The injunction would place severe restrictions on the Bounty Hunters’ gang-related activities, including a ban on associating in public with other members, loitering, blocking traffic, and gambling in and around the Nickerson Gardens Public Housing Development. “If you deal with the smaller crimes, the entry-level crimes, that will lead to the more serious crimes to start to diminish,” Delgadillo told about two dozen community leaders outside the 109th Street Recreation Center. Cooley and Delgadillo want the Bounty Hunters kept out of a “safety zone” bound by 108th Street to the north, Central Avenue to the west, Imperial Highway to the south and the rail line of the Metro Blue Line to the east, and extending 100 yards outside those boundaries. The Bounty Hunters have been around for more than three decades, according to Delgadillo’s office, which says the gang has engaged in “drug sales, trespassing, drinking, urinating and littering in public.” The gang, according to the City Attorney’s Office, is “engaged in criminal and nuisance activities … that threaten the freedom, health (and) safety” of the residents. The injunction seeks to keep the alleged gang members from standing, sitting, walking, driving, gathering or appearing anywhere in public view in the “safety zone”; confronting, intimidating, annoying, harassing, assaulting or battering anyone in the area; possessing guns or illegal weapons or drugs; or obstructing traffic or people, among other restrictions. “With the injunction we have the ability to focus on some quality of life issues, some that would be considered minor crime issues,” said Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell of the Los Angeles Police Department. “But, in focusing our enforcement efforts on those who are involved in much bigger things, we have the opportunity to remove those people from the streets, or certainly make their lives more difficult in doing the criminal activity that they’re doing every day,” he said. According to the City Attorney’s Office, Watts-area residents were the victims of 585 violent crimes last year, and 282 so far this year, including homicide, assault, robbery and rape. Bounty Hunters are known for their in-house power struggles, law enforcement officials said. Over the July 4th weekend, two people were killed and three wounded in one of these battles. The alleged gang members are Aubrey Anderson, George Anderson, Billy Barnes, Rayshawn Boyce, Dontae Carrell, Brandon Crosby, Ronnie Geter, Pervis Henderson Jr., Duane Hull, Kemal Hutcherson, Israel Jauregui, Edward Jones Jr., Rodney Laird, Donte McDaniel, Pattie Paschal and Andre Pickens. The complaint contends that “unless restrained by this court, defendants will continue to maintain the public nuisance in the safety zone” and will “continue to cause great and irreparable damage, injury and harm” to area residents. Subject to current injunctions are the 18th Street gang in Los Angeles, the West Coast Crips in Long Beach and the Crenshaw Mafia in Inglewood. East Hollywood and Pasadena are among the other places where gang injunctions are in effect.