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Lawsuit targets Toonerville gang

Glendale, L.A. officials seek an injunction to make arresting alleged members easier.

November 18, 2008|By Jason Wells

GLENDALE — City attorneys for Los Angeles and Glendale on Monday announced their intent to seek a permanent injunction restricting the activities of the long-entrenched Toonerville gang, whose members have been convicted for multiple murders and shootings in both jurisdictions.

In a civil lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, city attorneys argued that dozens of known Toonerville gang members continue to cause a public nuisance, and so should be strictly regulated.

If approved by the judge, the joint gang injunction — a first for Glendale — would create a 4.5-square-mile “safety zone” in the southern part of the city to be bordered by the Los Angeles River, Broadway, the Glendale (2) Freeway and Verdugo Road, and down past Glendale Boulevard into Los Angeles.

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The Americana at Brand would be included in the safe zone, which covers nearly all of south Glendale.

A second 1.25-square-mile safety zone would also be created in the Sunland-Tujunga area north of Foothill Boulevard.

Toonerville gang members within those safe zones would be prohibited from associating with one another in public, employing lookouts or being even indirectly involved with graffiti or drug- and weapons-related crime.

They would also be barred from Chevy Chase and Palmer parks, and be placed under a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily curfew with few exceptions. Those found to be in violation of the order would be subject to immediate arrest and prosecution, officials said.

The latest proposed injunction would be the 39th imposed in the Los Angeles area as authorities fight to suppress gang activity from one neighborhood to the next.

“The reality is, gangs know no geographic boundaries,” Glendale Police Chief Randy Adams said.

Gangs have been responsible for several drive-by shootings, narcotics sales, stabbings and violent assaults in Glendale. In May, an 18-year-old man was shot several times in the torso less than a block away from Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in what police believe was a gang-related shooting.

The “shot-caller” for the Drew Street gang, which has strong ties to the Mexican Mafia, was arrested in June at his Glendale home as part of a multi-agency crackdown that led to the arrest of 55 alleged gang members known for violent carjackings.

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