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Area residents get educated about gangs

February 17, 2006|by TARA REILLY

HAGERSTOWN

tarar@herald-mail.com

MS-13 gang members are known to provoke violent fights without reason.

Bloods affiliate themselves with the color "red," often wear their hats tilted to the right and might attack someone from behind, slicing their faces from the corner of the mouth to the ear.

The attack, known as a "buck 50," got the name because it's intended to cause a wound that will require at least 150 stitches.

Crips are known to wear blue clothing, tilt their hats to the left and might have tattoos of six-pointed stars or the letters, "BK," which stands for "Blood Killers."

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Those are just some of the many behaviors, signs and symbols of gang affiliation, Detective Todd Dunkle of the Hagerstown Police Department Street Crimes Unit said Thursday.

Bloods are the predominate gang in Hagerstown, but there also are smaller numbers of Crips and MS-13 members here, he said.

Dunkle was one of three speakers at a meeting at Elgin Station Community Center sponsored by CSAFE and the Hagerstown Housing Authority.

Included in Dunkle's discussion was the type of tattoos, clothing, music and even dance moves associated with gangs.

Authorities have found some MS-13 graffiti at Greenbrier, Cunningham Falls and Rocky Gap state parks.

"I'm not putting this up here to scare you," he said at the beginning of the discussion.

Rather, the meeting was an attempt to educate the public about gangs, in the hopes residents will notice such behavior and tip off police, he said.

"I couldn't make my living doing this work if I didn't have people snitching," Dunkle said.

Typically, gangs are associated with drug dealing. Members are also known to carry weapons, such as those that might look like a comb, pen or keychain but easily convert into a knife, he said.

CSAFE coordinator Carolyn Brooks said the meeting is part of an ongoing series about gangs.

Gary Carter and Todd McMahon, case managers at Maryland Correctional Training Center (MCTC), spoke about gangs in prison and registered sex offenders.

"We have so much problems in the prison with gangs," Carter said.

MS-13 members are there, and, "We have the Bloods. We have the Crips," he said.

The 2004 death of a 16-year-old inmate by an 18-year-old inmate was gang-related, and another inmate who was a member of the Bloods was stabbed 32 times, Carter gave as examples.

Carter urged parents to talk to their children about such matters and stay informed with the latest trends, including music.

"If it means I got to listen to music I hate, I'll listen to it to find out what's going on," he said.

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