Monday, April 6, 2009

Gang Violence Erupts at Five Points Plaza

The Sarasota Police Dept., in conjunction with the FDLE Gang Task Force, is continuing its investigation into a weekend incident at the city's Five Points Plaza.

Authorities are poring over surveillance tapes to determine whether the near-riot was spontaneous or had been carefully orchestrated by the rival gangs. The video shows one group of young people, believed to be members of the 24th St. Boys, assembling in the plaza. Shortly thereafter, another unknown faction, possibly the upstart Second Line, pours down the stairs and begins to mix it up with the first group.

Frightened bystanders are clearly seen in the video, frozen with fear, as the gangs menacing behavior devolves into absolute chaos and bone-chilling violence.

Sarasota Police Chief, Peter J. Abbott, vows to bring the participants to justice and end the palpable fear that hangs over the Suncoast. "We have evidence connecting members of these two gangs to several recent murders in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, which we are pursuing. But we will never surrender our city or its innocent residents to the kind of open warfare that took place at Five Points this past weekend. The scales of justice will always prevail."

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