Oceanside gang injunction extended
Saturday, November 8, 2003 12:28 AM PST
Oceanside gang injunction extended
By: YVETTE URREA – Staff Writer
VISTA —- A Superior Court judge Friday extended a temporary injunction against 20 alleged members of the Varrio Posole Locos street gang in Oceanside that makes it illegal for them to associate with each other in public or wear gang-type clothing and sets other restrictions.
Judge K. Michael Kirkman extended the emergency order he originally granted Oct. 17.
“This is a longer-lasting injunction,” said Deputy District Attorney Terri Perez outside court. “This one in effect is essentially the same as the permanent order.”
Kirkman set a trial date of March 2 for the complaint, but if none of the defendants contest it, then it becomes a permanent order by default.
Critics of gang injunctions, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, say the legal actions unfairly target poor minorities that cannot afford to hire attorneys to contest the allegations and end up being robbed of their personal freedoms.
“To date, no one has filed an answer (to the civil complaint),” Perez said.
The civil complaint alleges that the individuals are a nuisance and bring crime into the Eastside neighborhood. Gang injunctions restrict them from flashing gang signs, carrying weapons and drinking alcohol within a specific neighborhood. If they violate the order, they face arrest.
For the Posole gang, that territory is from Interstate 5 east to Carey Road, and from Mission Avenue north to Highway 76. The boundaries are slightly east of the 1997 Posole gang-injunction boundaries.
This is Oceanside’s fourth gang injunction. Two of those —- against the Center Street and Posole gangs —- are temporary. Two others are permanent, including a 1997 injunction against other Varrio Posole Locos gang members.
The 1997 Posole gang injunction made history as the first in San Diego County. If the two Oceanside ones become permanent, there will be 10 gang injunctions countywide.
Oceanside police gang Detective Adam Knowland said the injunctions have helped reduce crime.
“Since we’ve started this process, that neighborhood has been dead quiet. So, the injunction has an effect even before it becomes permanent,” Knowland said.
Five alleged gang members, who were in jail or prison, were brought into the court in case they wanted to address the judge, but none did. Another nine of the teenagers and men named in the injunction attended the hearing but also did not address the court.
A juvenile that is in custody will be in court Monday for the same proceeding, said Kirkman. Another five who were named in the complaint were temporarily removed because officers had not been able to serve them with the temporary restraining order, he said.
Among those named in the civil complaint is David Englebrecht, a man named in a 1997 gang injunction who has successfully fought with assistance from a public defender to have his name removed. He said he was no longer active in the gang.
When Englebrecht was named in the new Posole civil complaint, a public defender said the office was considering taking the case again. On Friday, a public defender showed up in court briefly to inform the judge that the public defender’s office had decided not to represent Englebrecht.
Englebrecht, 29, was in court briefly Friday but left shortly after talking with the public defender. He could not be reached for comment.
The move to represent Englebrecht in the 1998 civil case was unusual because the public defender’s office usually only represents clients in criminal cases.
Although a judge removed Englebrecht from the order and stated he was no longer involved in gangs, he was recently charged in two new criminal cases, including one that alleges the crimes were gang-related. He has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial for both cases.
In those two cases he has hired private attorney Ken Elliott, who as of Friday said he was not asked to represent his client in the gang injunction case.