Thursday, March 27, 2008

Gang Initiation Rumor, Buffalo, NY

The Buffalo News [NY]
27 March 2008

Warning issued on street gang

Motorists alerted over initiation rite


Buffalo police are concerned that a violent street gang with Central American roots could be planning an initiation rite targeting motorists and police.

Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson issued a public alert early Wednesday evening, cautioning motorists in Buffalo and surrounding communities to be wary if involved in a rear-end collision because it could be part of the gang's initiation ritual.

Gipson said police received "credible information" that suggested the ritual could involve gang member recruits ca using rear-end collisions and then committing acts of violence against drivers. Gipson would not elaborate, but sources said gang members were urged "to shoot" drivers. [...]

The Buffalo News [NY]
27 March 2008

Buffalo police stand by warning to motorists about violent gang

Buffalo police are taking seriously warnings that a violent street gang may be planning an initiation rite that targets unsuspecting local motorists, despite some local media reports that dismissed the claims as urban legend.

Police officials reiterated today that they are taking this possible threat very seriously, although no such incident has happened locally. [...]

WGRZ-TV [Buffalo, NY]
28 March 2008

Probably A "Hoax"

Dave McKinley, Reporter

Buffalo Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson warned city residents on Wednesday to be wary of gang initiation rituals which could result in harm to innocent victims.

But several other law enforcement agencies across the nation decided not to issue similar warnings after concluding information which came to them about such occurances amounted to nothing more than a hoax. [...]

The Buffalo News [NY]
28 March 2008

Were police hoaxed into airing warning about gang?

Initiation rite targeting motorists is considered an urban legend by many

By Vanessa Thomas

It was the talk of the city Thursday: Were Buffalo police brass the victims of a hoax when they warned the public that the violent MS-13 street gang could be planning an initiation rite targeting motorists?

Even some law enforcement insiders said the gang account is simply an urban legend. But Buffalo Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson said the decision to alert the public was based on the shooting of an innocent victim this month.

Gipson revealed Thursday that this shooting involved a man driving his car in Buffalo, who pulled over when a vehicle behind him, occupied by at least three men, began flashing its lights at him.

When the man got out of his car, one of the men inside the other vehicle opened fire, striking him, according to Gipson. The victim sought medical treatment and has survived his injuries. [...]

The Buffalo News [NY]
7 April 2008

Motorist robbed after being rear-ended

A 27-year-old Buffalo man was the victim of a gunpoint carjacking this morning when his Jeep was rear-ended in the city's Kensington-Bailey neighborhood, police said.

The victim was at Comstock and Midway avenues at about 1:45 a.m. when a black vehicle occupied by two or three men rear-ended his Jeep, according to Northeast District police.

One of the men, wearing a red bandanna over his face, approached the victim and pointed a silver handgun at him.

Police said the men then stole his brown 2001 Jeep Cherokee, $60 and his cell phone before fleeing west on Hutchinson Avenue.

Buffalo police recently warned motorists about a possible gang initiation rite targeting motorists who are robbed after stopping when someone bumps into their vehicle. Police advised motorists involved in such collisions to keep driving to a well-lit area and immediately call 911 from a cell phone.