Injunction Bans Suspected Gang Members From OC Neighborhood

The injunction singled out 25 men and teenagers, 10 of whom said they have no connections to the gang anymore.

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    A judge in Orange County has issued an injunction banning suspected gang members from an area in Santa Ana. Vikki Vargas reports for NBC4 News at 6 p.m. from Santa Ana Monday, Aug. 11, 2014. (Published Monday, Aug. 11, 2014)

    A judge-ordered injunction targeting gang activity is set to go into effect in one Orange County neighborhood, but not everyone is on board.

    Select members of the Townsend Street gang would be banned from the area between South Sullivan Street and South Raitt Street, West 1st Street and West McFadden Avenue in Santa Ana, a territory that the gang has “claimed” by leaving their moniker on streets and sidewalks.

    "The problems that I see is that there’s like, many tagging on the walls and when they drink, they leave their trash behind," resident Eileen Palma said.

    The city has spent $250,000 covering up graffiti in the area. Authorities hope the injunction will empower the people who live in that neighborhood to call for help.

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    Over four years, police have arrested two people for murder and dozens more for gun possession and drug sales, all tied to 100 known gang members. The injunction would make it illegal for any of those men to walk, sit, stand or even be seen together in public.

    "When they act like gang members in public, bringing their guns, bringing their drugs, intimidating people with their dress – it causes fear and terror in that good people that live and work in the neighborhood," Deputy District Attorney Tracy Miller said.

    The injunction singled out 25 men and teenagers, 10 of whom said they have no connections to the gang anymore.

    Vanessa Cerda lives with a former gang member who worries he’ll be swept up when police start enforcing the injunction.

    "He would have to be living in fear of coming out - getting policed, getting harassed, which usually would tend to happen even if he's not on that list,' Cerda said. "If you look like one, you act like one, you get treated like one."

    The only places within the safety zone where the injunction would not be in effect are at schools and churches.

    The 10 gang members who said they have no connection to the gang anymore will go before a judge Wednesday hoping to have their name removed from the list.