Fresno Police Fight Back Against Gangs

August 13, 2008 7:07:17 PM PDT
Locked and loaded. Officer Elliott Verdugo gets ready to face the unexpected in a massive gang sweep in central and southwest Fresno. The first place officers hit one man tried to run away. A female officer asked him "Be honest, why'd you run?" Officers say his affiliation to the bulldog gang is clear. He has a large tattoo of a bulldog's head on his chest. Sergeant Alex Robles explained, "As we made contact he ran inside trying to hide a meth pipe." As police get ready to haul him to jail for violating his parole they have to make special accommodations for him in jail for his personal safety. "So you gonna get in a protective tank?"

The extra enforcement in the last three days comes after a violent crime wave in Fresno. Last weekend, someone shot and killed 15 year-old Destinee Ortiz at a Bulldog gang party in southwest Fresno. A 17 year old boy was also shot in the head but he survived.

Sgt. Robles said, "We've also had incidents where it's Bulldogs against Bulldogs. They're so large that sometimes there are rivalries between subsets."

At the next home police went to they couldn't find the young girl they were looking for. But they did find something she wasn't supposed to have. An officer said, "A pair of shorts. It's a violation of probation. Not supposed to have anything Bulldog-related."

Then police got a tip that a female gang associate wanted in connection to a stabbing last week was at a house on Illinois and Third. But as soon as they knock on the door another woman, also wanted by police, tried to escape through the back door with a baby in her arms. But police were one step ahead of her. They arrested her and the woman they originally went to the home for.

Police are still looking for the person who killed Destinee Ortiz. They say as they make these arrests they're putting pressure on gang members to tell them who's responsible. So far Fresno police have arrested 50 people on felony charges. 30 of them were either Bulldog gang members or their associates.

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