RIALTO – A lawsuit against a local criminal street gang was filed this month by San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos.
The street gang, in existence since 2005, is known as “Hustla Squad Clicc.” It is a combination of two rival gangs, the well-known Bloods and Crips, residing in two neighboring Rialto apartment complexes on North Beechwood Ave. and North Glenwood Ave.
“They decided to unite for common purposes,” said Deputy District Attorney Grace Parson. Those purposes, she said, include gaining strength in numbers against other rival gangs for the control of narcotics, sales, territory and the use and acquisition of firearms, instilling fear and intimidating victims and witnesses of their crimes.
Parsons said the injunctions serve to disrupt gang activities and make it harder for them to intimidate community members by prohibiting the gang’s members from congregating and loitering in the safety zone. There are also prohibitions against displaying the gang’s names, signs or symbols to commit or promote any criminal or public nuisance act, she said.
The safety zone is just over four square miles, its boundaries covering sections of Merrill Ave., Sycamore Ave., Cactus Ave., Rialto Ave., Maple Ave., Etiwanda Ave. and Easton St.
The ongoing operation, said Parsons, “would restrict certain activities of the gang.”
Parsons said gang members also “hustle money” through committing theft crimes intended to yield cash and firearms.
Some gang members would be subjected to arrest if they engaged in certain conduct, she said, with an area called the “safety zone.” The idea is to reclaim the zone’s area for the peaceful enjoyment of the residents who lived there, she said.
The first phase of the operation consisted of serving 25 preliminary gang injunctions. The second phase was a “zero tolerance” proactive patrol of the high crime and gang areas in Rialto that included over 130 law enforcement officers from various agencies throughout San Bernardino County. Parole and probation checks were also conducted.
Initial operations totaled 89 arrests for various felony and misdemeanor crimes.
Tony Farrar, a Rialto police captain, recalled the initial action taken in 2008 against gangs in his city. “We took a stand against gang violence by implementing the department’s first gang injunction,” he said.
This latest injunction, he said, is continuing law enforcement’s approach toward ending gang activities, “(with) the same message: gang violence will not be tolerated in this community.”
Parsons described gang members as predominantly black males, although a few females are involved, that range in ages between 18 and 21.
“For nearly six years,” said Ramos, “the people of Rialto and the surrounding communities have had to suffer numerous crimes at the hands of a criminal gang,” adding that the county district attorney and Rialto police are trying to make it possible “for members of this community to live their lives free of fear and violence.”