Judge extends limits on gang; Injunction placed on the members of Center Street group
The San Diego Union-Tribune
September 13, 2003, Saturday
SECTION: ZONE;Pg. NC-1; NI-1
LENGTH: 534 words
HEADLINE: Judge extends limits on gang; Injunction placed on the members of Center Street group
BYLINE: Dana Littlefield; STAFF WRITER
VISTA — Fourteen members of an Oceanside gang — some dressed in street clothes, others in jail-issued jumpsuits — attended a court hearing yesterday where a judge extended several limitations on their behavior ranging from publicly associating with each other and loitering to urinating in public.
Superior Court Judge K. Michael Kirkman issued a preliminary injunction against the Center Street gang, saying the residents who live in the gang’s territory “will continue to suffer irreparable injury,” unless something is done. He granted a temporary restraining order against the gang last month.
Like the temporary order, the preliminary injunction creates a “safety zone” within the gang’s territory, which is roughly defined as the area bounded by Mission Avenue to the north, Interstate 5 to the east, Missouri Avenue to the south and Horne Street to the west.
Center Street’s members are responsible for committing many crimes in the city of Oceanside, including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, burglary and drug crimes, according to Deputy District Attorney Terri Perez, who requested the injunction.
“We feel that the evidence demonstrates that this gang has created a public nuisance,” Perez told the judge yesterday. She said she felt the order would eliminate that nuisance.
Under the terms of the injunction, the gang’s members are restricted from associating with other Center Street gang members, wearing gang clothes, possessing guns or other dangerous weapons, selling drugs, or using gang hand-signs, according to court documents.
Prohibitions on fighting, trespassing, littering, vandalism and making loud noise are also included in the order.
Violations of the injunction would be considered misdemeanor offenses punishable by jail terms.
Twenty of the gang’s most active members were named in the civil complaint filed by the District Attorney’s Office last month. Of those members, all are male and only one, a 17-year-old, is a juvenile.
Some of the gang members named in the original complaint did not attend yesterday’s hearing because they had not yet been given notice. They will eventually be included in the permanent injunction, Perez said.
Outside the courtroom, she explained that the temporary restraining order the judge granted last month is only good for a couple of weeks. Twenty members of the Oceanside gang were notified of the Aug. 22 court hearing, but no one showed up.
The purpose of the preliminary injunction, Perez said, is to protect the neighbors from gang activity through the end of the trial, if one is needed. A trial will be held if any of the people named in the complaint file a response with the court. If no one responds within 30 days of when they are served, the injunction becomes permanent by default.
The judge set a trial date for Dec. 3.
“(The injunction’s purpose) is to keep the neighborhood safe by keeping these people off the streets,” Perez said, noting the gang’s history of disruptive, intimidating and harassing behavior.
“It makes it difficult for the people in the area to leave their homes,” she said.
Dana Littlefield: (760) 476-8233; firstname.lastname@example.org
GRAPHIC: 1 PIC; John Gastaldo / Union-Tribune; Members of the Center Street gang in Oceanside prepared to leave the courtroom of Judge K. Michael Kirkman, who yesterday granted a preliminary injunction limiting the activities of the gang’s members. (NC-1;NI-3)
LOAD-DATE: September 16, 2003