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LAPD Gang Unit Braces for Renewal of Crime in Highland Park

A notorious gang leader’s bail 90 days after his Aug. 2 arrest in Eagle Rock may provide the trigger.

This story was picked up by KCAL9 News—click here to access the link to their video.

There hasn’t been much gang-related crime in Highland Park lately—but that could change, police say, as the leader of a gang arrested in Eagle Rock in August becomes eligible for bail.

Officers from multiple Los Angeles Police Department units arrested a notorious auto thief from Eagle Rock Plaza on Aug. 2, 2012. The arrest coincided with an anti-gang initiative in Highland Park that "took lots of guns off the streets,” according to Steve Aguilar, a detective in the LAPD’s Northeast Division gang detail. In all, said Aguilar, eight handguns were seized and 10 or 12 active, hardcore gang members were taken into custody.

“He’s a ‘shot caller,’” Aguilar explained, referring to a term that police officers use to describe gang members who “call the shots” within a certain gang.

Currently in jail for violating parole under the so-called "post-release community supervision program," the leader, from a gang formally known as the Highland Park Gang, will become eligible for bail on Oct. 22, Aguilar said.

The gang leader is being prosecuted for Grand Theft Auto at Eagle Rock Plaza, and that case is still continuing, Aguilar said. Meanwhile, he was sent to Los Angeles County Jail for violating parole (after being convicted of a narcotics-related crime) by allegedly indulging in auto theft, Aguilar explained. The gang leader was ineligible for bail for a maximum period of 90 days, he added.

“For the past two or three weeks, it’s been really quiet,” Aguilar said. “There are still a lot of gang members out there—there’s just no leadership—and we’re bracing for his [the gang leader’s resumption of] parole.”

Although the gang leader is not a suspect in any current crime, “we know he’s a shot caller, and when he comes out crime could increase,” Aguilar said, adding: "We'll be tracking him to make sure he doesn't start gang problems again."

The gang leader is in his mid-30s, and because he is not a suspect in any crime, his name and other details about him are not being released.

The only gang-related incident that the LAPD has been aware of lately in Highland Park involved the accidental shooting of a 39-year-old gang member this past Thursday around 6 p.m., Aguilar said.

The gang member, who lives in Highland Park, among other places, and belongs to a gang based in the Rampart area, reported to police that he was shot in the leg. But when Detective Rick Ortiz, who heads the Northeast Division’s gang detail, examined the man, it became apparent that, based on the bullet’s trajectory, the gang member could not possibly have been shot at by a rival from the street, Aguilar said.

“He admitted he shot himself,” Aguilar said, adding that the gang member was taken to hospital for treatment.

Correction: A previous version of this story mistakenly said that the gang leader would be eligible for parole by the end of October or early November. He will, in fact, he eligible for bail and will be resuming parole on Oct. 22.

Jason October 11, 2012 at 10:50 AM
Greg: Yes, we know that now, after the article was corrected. The original version had few details and was very unclear, hence my questions.
Chris October 11, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Mr. Singh, Don't waste your time trying to explain yourself or how the system works to these idiots. If they really need to know have them research it themselves. I can't believe how they expect you to explain every little detail to them. As for the L.A.P.D., when they release this info it's called community policing. They don't have to do it but they do, so the "community" can be aware of what's going on in their neighborhood. Some people you just can't please.
Jason October 11, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Nice comments, Chris. Did you read the original version of the article? Most of the comments you're reading here were based on that version, which included virtually no context for what was happening--and the details that it did include were confusing, contradictory, and did not accurately reflect "how the system works," as you put it.
Mark October 11, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Sorry, Chris, the only idiots here is YOU and Mr. Singh. He has NO idea what he is talking about, and has NO idea of journalistic standards. And neither do you.
mark October 11, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Ok the updated version of the article is very informative, although still maybe a stretch to call it news. I guess it's sort of an update on gang activity of sorts or something. @ Chris, one of us doesn't understand the whole point of Patch.com. I thought it was supposed to be a news source. So yes, if somebody is presenting "news" I do more or less expect them to explain everything they say. Also, who cares what the LAPD calls what they are doing? "Community policing" that means nothing, really. When they say how many guns they've taken off the street or how many dangerous gang members they've arrested.... well it's really worthless unless they quantify it with actual numbers and facts. Oh and BTW there are two Marks here. Although I more or less agree with everything the other Mark has said.
Cerro Gordo October 11, 2012 at 05:12 PM
That's a really good question Carol. Any time a Lohan goes on a DUI spree we get shown the corresponding mugshot almost instantly. Why do the celebrity mugshots get released, but not a gang "shot caller"? That doesn't make any sense. Any idea, Ajay? Might be a good question to ask the LAPD.
flygirl October 11, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Are the hands in cuffs on the picture that's been provided that of the gang members? That's a start..I guess, lol.
frank van neutra lautner October 11, 2012 at 08:44 PM
I agree with Mark for the most part.
frank van neutra lautner October 11, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Without a sound explanation or argument for not releasing this scumbag's identity, I'm inclined to agree for the most part.
frank van neutra lautner October 11, 2012 at 08:51 PM
No, I think the main thanks belongs with the lunacy AKA as the "War on Drugs" which has overfilled prisons.
frank van neutra lautner October 11, 2012 at 08:56 PM
I'm not making a firm claim with regard to this story but people would have to be naive to think the LAPD doesn't ever as a method of operation feed false or misleading reports to this organization.
carol van beek October 11, 2012 at 11:52 PM
Thanks for the clarification, Ajay.
me October 12, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Jose Arviso, Half white guy from Highland Park gang HLP. Not a big fan of him at all. tried are best to get him behind bars and it only got him 3 months.
MR STRICKLAND October 12, 2012 at 04:10 AM
Ajay. How can you say hes from HighLand Park gang when your story says hes originally from rampart area?? Come on now..
P.quero October 12, 2012 at 04:35 AM
HighLand Park wouldnt play with guns and for never shoot themseleves.
Ajay Singh (Editor) October 12, 2012 at 04:40 AM
Mr Strickland—the guy who shot himself in the leg is from the Rampart area, as a second reading of the story should clarify. The gang leader, now identified by CBS as Jose Arviso, is from Highland Park.
Jonathan October 12, 2012 at 02:36 PM
It really is amazing how well we do as a society with such a lousy police force. Sometimes I think they're just a bunch of struggling actors waiting for they're big break. But would LAPD look good on an action stars resume? I doubt it. Try NYPD.
Ajay Singh (Editor) October 12, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Jonathan—FWIW, it's the NYPD that presumes every *perpetrator* is innocent until proven otherwise. At least LAPD uses the word *suspect*. :)
Mark October 12, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Even with your rewrite here of your original, unprofessional and wrong story, you still continue with some basic unacceptable things, in particular failing to name the person. And for god's sake, don't include all the comments from the old story here -- no one can tell what they mean if they can't see the old story with them! You say: "The gang leader is in his mid-30s, and because he is not a suspect in any crime, his name and other details about him are not being released." This is bulls---! He's in jail -- they cannot hold his name secret, because he is in custody and that must be revealed by law! They cannot hold someone in secret. Second, by your own story, he IS a suspect, he is charged! He doesn't have to be doing something TODAY to be a suspect! The point is, you still are being a puppet for the police for a baseless story. It is completely baseless without a name. No one can possibly accept or counter this story without a name! Without a name, all this amounts to is manipulation of public sentiment, and that makes you one of the manipulators. Be afraid, be very afraid!
Jonathan October 12, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Semantics... My point is that there's no police force. I've lived in Highland Park for 15 years and in that time I've never seen a police cruiser on my street. Not once, and I work at home. And, the one time I called the police they never showed up. I called regarding an elderly woman that lived next store which we hadn't seen in a while. She wound up dying after her son kicked in the door with no help from the police. Dude, the LAPD sucks and everyone in LA knows it. We're on our own. Have been for decades. And what does FWIW mean? I'm not 14.
MR STRICKLAND October 12, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Lol@ daz so true. Great comment. And as for ajay. U still havnt ansered my queztion. How can u say hes from HighLand Park gang then your story sats his gang is based out of rampart area... Come on now....
Ajay Singh (Editor) October 12, 2012 at 04:05 PM
FWIW = For What It's Worth. I see your point, Jonathan. But like, governments, maybe we all get the police force we deserve—and maybe the LAPD would be better if Californians paid higher taxes, as New Yorkers do.
bbkong October 12, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Hey, you guys quit picking on Ajay! He's not a reporter and this isn't a news site. It's a community discussion board and he tries to find things that affect our community to discuss. If anyone thinks they can do better and wants to step up, it only costs about $15 a month to put your money where your mouth is, so feel free.
mark October 12, 2012 at 04:43 PM
See, I thought this was a news site and that Ajay got paid. I guess I'm wrong. So Ajay pays $10/month to write up "articles" and post them here? Is that for real? I thought Patch.com was supposed to be a community news source. Is it more of a gossip board then? I'd be interested in sorting this issue out. Seriously, I've been thinking of giving it up.
mark October 12, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Sorry bbkong, but I just clicked on Ajay's name and see that you are totally wrong. He is a professional journalist and he has taken on the Patch.com mission (labeled "beliefs"). I really don't mean to rag on him either. I do appreciate what he is doing here. However I do think he could do a little more reporting on the LAPD, rather than simply disseminating the LAPD's press reports for them.  http://arcadia.patch.com/users/ajay-singh
bbkong October 12, 2012 at 04:51 PM
You can rent some space on the internet and do whatever you like, it's cheap. I don't know the arrangement between Ajay and Patch, nor do I need to know, but just about every neighborhood in LA (and in other towns) has a local Patch. All it requires is someone to step up. I'm glad he did. I know I wouldn't bother with it considering all the nuttery and time involved. Also, you and anybody else can contribute whatever you think is relevant to the community. It's not a monopoly.
bbkong October 12, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Well, then maybe we were both a little off the mark. No pun. Still he doesn't have to do this and it's nice that he does.
Mark October 12, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Patch.com is part of AOL News. It is their local news operation. As for Ajay, this is a job for him, and he is a reporter here. So yes, journalistic standards definitely apply.
Mr. jepg October 15, 2012 at 06:06 PM
exactly!
Mr. jepg October 15, 2012 at 06:06 PM
isn't GTA a felony? or was he arrested for something else?

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