Suspected gang members told to stay away

December 10, 2010 4:05:27 PM PST
A court hearing is the latest development to a gang crackdown in northeast Houston. We first told you last month about an unprecedented move to clean up a crime infested apartment complex by identifying suspected gang members and threatening to have them arrested if they step foot on the property.

On Friday, a judge listened to testimony from witnesses who want over two dozen suspected gang members banned from the Haverstock Hills apartment complex on Aldine Bender.

Just before 5pm in a courtroom on the 20th floor, a judge did issue a temporary injunction, banning a number of suspected gang members from Haverstock Hills, saying they can't step foot on or near the property or they will go to jail.

Haverstock Hills is not a safe place to live -- 2,000 residents, and 2,700 calls to police for help since January. Much of the crime is gang-related.

In court on Friday the county asked to bar 27 suspected gang members from stepping foot anywhere near the northeast Harris County complex.

"They've proven themselves chronic nuisances by committing crime after crime after crime," said Harris County Special Prosecutor Kim Ogg. "They've subjected residents to victimization that nobody ought to have to live with."

Testifying Friday was Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, who says the gang problem is rampant and Haverstock Hills needs help. Also on the stand was the property manager who pays already $250,000 a year for security. He says keeping these 27 people out will help.

"It's a start," said property manager Joshua Allen. "There are probably others that will be identified at a later time that also contribute to the same criminal activity."

Of the 27 suspected gang members, 16 have already signed agreements to stay away.

Ogg said, "I knew that the people who work at Haverstock Hills and who manage the properties and who deal with the residents every day say things are getting better. The publicity and the focus of law enforcement and the community's attention on their problem is helping."

Just after the hearing we learned there is a 28th gang member who is also included in this temporary injunction. All 28 of them will be served papers indicating the judge's ruling and then they'll have to stay away from Haverstock Hills. This injunction lasts for 45 days until there is a trial on this issue. That will be held on February 7, and at that point prosecutors will be seeking a permanent injunction to keep those suspected gang members away from Haverstock Hills.


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