Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Gang Initiation: Cars Rammed, Drivers Killed

WHQR Public Radio [Wilmington, NC]
26 March 2008

Urban Legend Clogged Police Phones

Catherine M. Welch

WILMINGTON, NC (2008-03-26) -- An urban legend kept police departments across the state busy Tuesday night fielding calls from concern[ed] citizens.

Law enforcement from Wilmington to Charlotte say they were flooded with calls about a cell phone text message warning that cars would be rammed and drivers killed as part of a gang initiation.

At least one of the messages singled out the violent Central American gang MS 13. [...]

The Fayetteville Observer [NC]
26 March 2008

Police: No truth to gang initiation ruse

The Fayetteville Observer [NC]
28 March 2008

Police: No evidence of gang initiation plan

A staff report

Rumors are still circulating in Fayetteville about a gang initiation ruse that targets vehicle drivers. [...]

Delano, California, Police Department

News Releases

March 27, 2008

To all citizens of Delano and surrounding area

On 3/27/08, the Delano Police Department Gang Unit received information that a California Criminal Street Gang is going to be holding gang initiations in the Cities of Delano and McFarland. Prospective members are to collide their vehicles into random vehicles from behind. As the driver of the victim vehicle exits, the prospective members will open fire. This information has not been substantiated nor do we know if it is credible. [...]

Fresno Bee [CA]
28 March 2008

Delano police say gang-attack scare possibly a hoax

By Tim Bragg / The Fresno Bee

Delano police officials said today warnings that gang members would target motorists as part of violent gang initiation are possibly a hoax.

The Delano Police Department issued a warning Thursday after receiving information that gang members in Delano and McFarland had planned to rear-end motorists, then start violent confrontations after the drivers got out, as part of a gang initiation.

Today, police learned the source of the information might not be credible, Sgt. Eddie Perez said. [...]

New Haven Independent
27 March 2008

Gang Initiation Feared

by Paul Bass

Cops and City Hall workers received an email Thursday warning of a possible gang initiation Thursday night aimed at rear-ending unwitting motorists and then shooting them.

"Hey guys," began the forwarded email message, which began with an employee of a city department. "My friend who works at the Whalley Avenue Jail has just informed me that there will be a gang initiation tonight where they will rear end you and once you get out of the car they will shoot you." [...]

Dallas Morning News [Texas]
1 April 2008

Ignore those gang initiation e-mails

Steve Blow

Once again, the Internet grapevine is whipping folks into a tizzy. And once again, it's bogus.

Mass e-mails are flying around today about a supposed gang initiation in which cars are being bumped "all over the metroplex." Contrary to what the e-mail says, this has not been confirmed by Dallas police. Sgt. Gil Cerda, spokesman for the department, said he has heard nothing of the sort. [...]

The Chronicle [Duke University, NC]
2 April 2008

DPD: No truth to gang rumor

By: Ally Helmers

Although many students received listserv e-mails Monday evening warning of a dangerous initiation practice by the gang Mara Salvatrucha, Durham Police Department officials said the e-mails are unsubstantiated.

The e-mails state that members of the gang, also known as MS-13, rear-end cars and then shoot drivers who get out to inspect the damage. [...]

KKTV 11 News [Colorado Springs, CO ]
3 April 2008

E-Mail Hoax Fools Hundreds

Reporter: Mindy Stone

A terrifying e-mail is circulating through cyberspace. But, Fountain police say it's fake.

The e-mail warns the reader about the gang MS-13. It says they'll be having a car bumping initiation this week in Southern Colorado. [...]

Casa Grande Dispatch [AZ]
5 April 2008

Urban myth keeps 200 students home

By SUSAN RANDALL, Staff Writer

Casa Grande Union High School was the victim of an urban legend Friday.

Superintendent Nancy Pifer said some parents decided not to send their children to school because of a rumor of gang violence. Attendance was about 200 students lower than on a normal day. [...]

The recent version was that gang members drove around at night bumping cars - if the other drivers stopped, they would be shot.

The local version was that after the initiations, which always took place at night, there would be violence at the high school. [...]

Atlanta Journal-Constitution [GA]
16 April 2008

DeKalb police: Gang initiation e-mail is mere rumor

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The e-mail, circulating for the last several weeks among metro Atlanta parents and teachers, is alarming and scary and, it turns out, to be taken with a grain of salt:

"MS-13 is a NEW GANG going through initiation this week," it reads in bold type. "They are targeting single women as well as single drivers. They will bump the rear of your vehicle...once you get out observing/asset [sic] the damage, they will stab you! Their motive is to KILL an individual in order to gain acceptance into the gang." [...]