Pasadena teen accused of gang extortion

February 28, 2011 2:50:33 PM PST
Prosecutors in Pasadena have filed charges against a teen who threatened to shoot another teen who'd had changed his mind about joining a gang.

According to a charging document, the teenager had a change of mind, but he quickly discovered that getting out is far more difficult than getting in.

He is a 15-year-old student at Sam Rayburn High School, and last month, he made a bad decision. He signed up with a Crips gang and went through an initiation -- clicked in its call, in which new members are beaten.

But the next day, he had second thoughts and told his alleged recruiter that he'd changed his mind. But in the gang world it costs to break a contract -- $600, he was told, or else face the consequences.

"He was actually threatened with being shot or possibly he and some other people to be beaten," Harris County prosecutor John Lewis said.

Instead of paying up though, the school principal was contacted.

"The student and his family came to the school and our police department and let them know about the situation," Pasadena ISD spokesperson Candace Ahlfinger said.

The meeting place for the money the student was supposed to bring was a convenience store next to Rayburn. Instead of the student, a school police officer arrived and found the alleged suspect; he was, however, not arrested at the time and still remains at large.

But he now has a charge against him, soliciting membership in a criminal street gang.

The suspect's street name is said to be Southside and he's said to have tattoos on his face.