Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Paint among arsenal in fighting gang activity

TAMPA — It was the middle of the afternoon. Kids played basketball on Timberlane Park's concrete court. And in the parking lot barely a free throw away, a couple of gang members conducted business.

But Joshua Medina and Ladell Mitchell's business partners actually were undercover officers.

A strategy to target high-crime areas with undercover and uniformed officers as well as with community support is working, Hillsborough County sheriff Maj. Albert Frost said at a gang graffiti paint-out and warrant roundup Thursday morning at Timberlane Park.

The roundup, which started at 5 a.m., netted 29 people charged with 70 offenses including violation of probation, dealing in stolen property and drug crimes.

With a backdrop of 28 mug shots, Frost talked about targeting gang activity in the area.

"We have a huge jail on Orient Road and you will never see a 'no vacancy' sign," he said.

Frost said the approach is part of a pilot program called intelligence-led policing, where resources are concentrated to a known high-crime area. Frost said neighbors' complaints over the last few months helped lead to the crackdown.

There are about 115 gangs and 2,600 people associated with gangs in the county, Frost said, but he rejected the notion that the area has a gang problem.

There is, however, active recruitment of young kids by gangs, he said.

Two of the gangs are the TC Boys and Timberlane Bloods.

The rival gang's graffiti litters fences, walls and street signs. Some of it includes Folk Nation pitchforks, cryptic lettering in red spray paint and a cartoon bird.

Brian Miller, the manager at Marine Warehouse, has noticed the gang tags on walls close to the business.

"You got to have it painted over," Miller said. If not, other gangs will come around with their tags, he said. Miller pointed out two broken windows on the second floor of the warehouse and a Chevy van parked out front of a garage bay door that gang members tried to steal.

Carlton Lewis is an activist who has lived in the neighborhood since 1989. He helped form a civic association, community crime watch and emphasizes vigilance among his neighbors. Lewis also had some words for gang members.

"We are not like ostriches sticking our heads in the sand," Lewis said.

He added: "Go away. Get a life. Get a job. Be real. We are not going to let you hang around."

Jared Leone can be reached at (813) 269-5314 or jleone@sptimes.com.

Paint among arsenal in fighting gang activity 06/26/08 [Last modified: Monday, June 30, 2008 4:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up

    Blogs

    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  2. Tampa Bay Times honored for top investigative story in Gerald Loeb annual business awards

    Business

    The Tampa Bay Times was a co-winner in the investigative category for one of the highest honors in business journalism.

    Tampa Bay Times current and former staff writers William R. Levesque, Nathaniel Lash and Anthony Cormier were honored in the investigative category for their coverage of "Allegiant Air" in the 60th Anniversary Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. 
[JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times

]

  3. Pasco woman gives birth to child fathered by 11 year old, deputies say

    Crime

    A Port Richey woman was arrested Tuesday, nearly three years after deputies say she gave birth to a child fathered by an 11-year-old boy.

    Marissa Mowry, 25, was arrested Tuesday on charges she sexually assaulted an 11-year-old and gave birth to his child. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  5. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman faces Baker for first time tonight at the Rev. Louis Murphy Sr.'s church

    Local Government

    A standing-room-only crowd packed a Midtown church banquet hall Tuesday to witness the first face-off between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker in what is a watershed mayoral contest in the city's history.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.