It's time for the Bloods and Crips to lawyer up. Harris County is taking a bunch of gangsters to civil court.
"This is a grand day in Harris County," DA Pat Lykos said this morning during a news conference.
Lykos filed a public nuisance lawsuit today against 33 "known members" of the Crips and Blood gangs, seeking a temporary injunction to keep them out of a specific 57-acre area near Aldine Bender and Lee Road, which includes the 700-unit Haverstock Hills apartment complex.
For years, Lykos said, the apartment facility has been plagued with crime and gang activity. The injunction is being sought in hopes of keeping gang members out of the area, thus preventing crime in that particular spot.
"The apartment management is doing its best, but gangsters are swarming the perimeters," said the feisty DA, as if she were describing a scene from the latest Robin Hood movie. "Elementary school kids are seen flashing gang signs and wearing gang colors. No longer will the people in Haverstock have to walk the gauntlet of gangsters, prostitutes or other criminal activity. We've drawn a line in the sand."
The lawsuit filed today is the first of its kind in Harris County. Attorney Kim Ogg, who is heading the lawsuit for the DA's office, says that a judge will most likely rule whether to grant the temporary injunction in December, and will then rule on a request for a permanent injunction some time after that.
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Harris County Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Stauber says that detectives have been arresting the same people over and over again around the Haverstock Hills apartments, and if the injunction is ordered, his officers will have the power to arrest the 33 people named in the lawsuit for violating the injunction, even if they are not committing other criminal offenses at the time. The penalty for violating the injunction can be up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
"The criminals won't have a chance," Stauber said.
The names of the alleged gangsters being sued have not been released, but Lykos says only "a few of them" are residents of the Haverstock Hills apartment complex, thus only a few people are being constructively evicted.
But hey, they're gangsters. We're sure they'll find a nice place to move ... maybe even your neighborhood.