Gang Injunction in Ivanhoe

March 7, 2008 8:25:39 PM PST
The Tulare County town of Ivanhoe took two big steps towards improving their community.It comes just a few months after a Sheriff's Deputy was shot and killed near the Tulare County town.

A preliminary injunction was served against the "South Side Kings" street gang in Ivanhoe. The injunction is basically a civil lawsuit against the gang, preventing any of its members from gathering together, walking down the street together and it gives them a 10pm curfew.

Just hours after the injunction against the south side king's street gang took effect, Sheriff's Deputies went door to door, in an effort to warn members of the Ivanhoe gang they're watching them.

Bill Wittman, Tulare County Sheriff: "I can't make it any clearer than I have already we're going to hammer these guys. We're tired of this!"

Prosecutors told about 25 of the most violent offenders about the injunction, warning them it's now illegal to associate with each other in Ivanhoe. The Sheriff's Department says violators will be arrested and could face jail time.

Phil Cline, Tulare Co. District Attorney: "So you won't have a situation where you've got 5, 6, 7 gang members who are walking down sidewalks and bumping people off and they're congregating and intimidating people in the community."

The injunction comes just three months after Tulare County Sheriff's Deputy Kent Haws was shot and killed near Ivanhoe last December. Investigators say Haws was murdered by a member of a different Tulare County Gang. Cline says the injunction will be another way to keep violent offenders off the streets.

Cline: "We've have everything from murders to robberies to burglaries car thefts."

Earlier in the day Ivanhoe residents celebrated the groundbreaking of a new downtown revitalization project. People in this rural town say the revitalization and the injunction are just the beginning of taking back their streets from gangs.

Betty Vicars, Ivanhoe Town Council: "This shows them that somebody does care what happens in Ivanhoe and now we'll have more participation because they'll go ok we can make a difference if we come together and really fight for what we want."

Permanent injunction issued in April, two more injunctions next two Fridays for Visalia street gangs.


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