Rise In East Central Gang Violence Concerns Police

SPOKANE – Authorities are concerned by a rise in gang violence centered around attacks on random victims in broad daylight at two city parks in east central Spokane.

Small packs of teenagers roaming Liberty and Grant Parks have been responsible for about a half dozen attacks on people in early July, roaming the parks and then singling out individual youngsters for a strong arm robbery.

“Most of our victims in these cases are somewhere around 14 to 15 years old they’ll walk up to them and say turn your pockets out,” Sgt. Dan Ervin with the Gang Enforcement Team said.

One of the worst attacks happened in Grant Park when the suspects used a metal pipe to break the victim’s wrist. Whether they resist the hold up or not the targets are usually jumped by more than one assailant.

“One individual got beat up, taken to the ground kicked and punched in the face where he sustained a broken jaw and facial bones,” Sgt. Ervin said.

The Gang Enforcement Team suspects the muggers are after more than just what in a kid’s wallet. The attacks could be part of the young gang claiming turf and certainly part of their hopes of using fear to gain respect.

“Respect equals fear in the gang world the more you are feared the more powerful you are perceived in the gang world,” Sgt. Ervin said.

Now authorities are hoping residents in east central Spokane will be willing to stand up against these gangs and help take them down.

“We’re hoping because these happened during the day light hours that there are more witnesses out there who could call in and give us more information,” Sgt. Ervin said.

Gang officials think kids and parents need to know these attacks have occurred and say awareness is a big part of not being a future victim. However if we avoid these parks altogether then we are conceding public property in a turf battle we really can’t afford to lose.

The Gang Enforcement Team always welcomes new information on gang activity where you live and they’ve got an easy to remember number it’s (509) 625-GANG (4264).