Call it a big victory for neighbors in the Brays Oaks area -- the judge's decision Tuesday afternoon sends a huge message that community is fed up and taking a stand against gangs.
Brays Oaks is a busy community, and some families living here say they're tired of dealing with some serious problems.
Brays Oaks homeowner Damon Jones said, "It's a crime-ridden area. It's a gang-ridden area."
It's frustration over a long list of gang-related crimes in that community that had police and county attorney's staff in civil court Tuesday successfully fighting to convince a judge to grant a permanent injunction to keep 16 known gang members out of Brays Oaks.
"I think it's needed for the safety of the community, for the kids," Jones said.
The injunction specifically names documented members of gangs called the Bloods, the Crips and Most Wanted. It prohibits them from entering a .7 square mile area called the Brays Oaks Safety Zone. Parts of Fondren, Bellfort, Willowbend and Bob White streets make up the zone's borders.
"These gangs are committing numerous criminal offenses in this area close to a school and residential areas," said Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan.
Police testified several of the targeted gang members are known for committing crimes in and around Brays Oaks, including drug deals, robberies, murders and shootings. Homeowners are calling the judge's ruling supporting the Brays Oaks Safety Zone a positive move.
"Just to have a safer environment, the kids can come out and play," Jones said.
If any of the 16 gang members are found in the Brays Oaks Safety Zone, they face jail time and a $4,000 fine.