Police battle surging gang problem

March 10, 2010 3:23:27 PM PST
Raeford is a small town known for its big turkey processing plant. But in recent months, it's getting a larger reputation for big city gang names like Crips and Bloods.

"We just recently had an incident where a member claiming the Folk Nation was walking and he was followed into some woods by some Bloods and they beat him up and we believe broke his arm," said Raeford Police Chief Mike Dummett.

South 13, the Valleros, and Valley Click 13 just a few more of the gangs that are making their presences known in Raeford and they're doing it in a very violent way.

David Frye found out Sunday just how violent gangs can be. Three gang members forced their way into his house on Wright Street in Raeford. They held him, his wife, and 3-year-old daughter at gun point while demanding money and weapons.

Frye watched helplessly as one gang member snatched his crying toddler off the couch and dangled her in the air by the arm.

"And he kept shaking her and the next thing we knew he had shoved a pistol in her mouth. He told us I'm going to blow her brains out if she doesn't shut up," Frye recalled.

"These people have no conscious. They don't care. I mean, it's sad to say they could have very well pulled the trigger and not even though twice about it," said Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin.

That's why the sheriff and police chief have formed a gang awareness task force. They're passing out brochures and guides to parents.

It's a way to alert them that their children may be involved with gangs. Raeford's police chief says he could use about six more officers to battle the growing gang problem.

"We're pooling our resources with the Sheriff's Office and city council's been good to try to deal with the problems - trying to give me more personnel with the recession. And, we're just going to keep working on it - letting our community give us information to take care of this problem," said Dummett.

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