Zone Is OKd to Limit Oxnard Gang
Police will begin notifying members of a south Oxnard gang that they can no longer hang out in public, wear certain clothing or drink alcohol under the terms of a second gang injunction approved this week.
A Ventura County Superior Court judge Monday approved Dist. Atty. Gregory Totten’s request for a 4.26-square-mile enforcement zone, roughly south of Wooley Road, east of Ventura Road, west of Rose Avenue and north of Hueneme Road.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Karen Wold said the injunction covers about 200 active members of the Southside Chiques, the city’s second-largest criminal street gang.
Opposition to the preliminary injunction, which Wold is asking the court to make permanent, was significantly more muted than the outcry that greeted the first injunction, approved in 2004.
In the earlier case, 220 civil rights activists, community members and residents filed papers in court claiming they had been unfairly harassed by Oxnard police. But their request to throw out restrictions placed on the Colonia Chiques gang was unsuccessful.
In the current case, an attorney representing alleged Southside gang member Mario DeLucas asked the court for a hearing to outline why his client should be excluded.
“We’re not opposing the gang injunction,” said Michael McMahon, a deputy public defender. “Our position is, it is being abused.”
Oxnard police have said violent crime has dropped 10% since the the first injunction was authorized. The second enforcement area has received wide public support at community meetings, Wold said.
“People just don’t want to tolerate gangs,” she said. “They are tired of the shootings, the murders and the graffiti. People are saying enough is enough.”
Seeking to crack down on the Colonia Chiques, the county’s largest gang, Oxnard police successfully sought an injunction that limited its members’ activities. The court order, upheld last year, prohibited gang members from assembling, wearing gang colors or loitering outdoors after 10 p.m. within a designated 6.6-square mile “safety zone” around the Colonia neighborhood.
Since the injunction was imposed, Wold has said, there have been more than 100 gang arrests and prosecutions.
Based on that success, authorities decided to seek an injunction against the Southside Chiques, whose members have been identified as suspects or victims in nine homicides in Oxnard and three in neighboring Port Hueneme.