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Recent shootings sign of growing gang violence in Richmond County, police say

Saturday, Aug 3, 2013 5:11 PM
Last updated Monday, Aug 5, 2013 9:28 AM
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Authorities say they fear that the recent slaying of a teen points to growing gang violence in Augusta.

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Gang graffiti was spray-painted at the intersection of Lofwood Drive and Brookshire Road. Investigators estimate that Richmond County has about 30 gangs.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
Gang graffiti was spray-painted at the intersection of Lofwood Drive and Brookshire Road. Investigators estimate that Richmond County has about 30 gangs.

Marquez Eubanks, 19, died after being shot at a house party on E. Kensington Drive on July 18. Two other men were wounded.

The man police arrested in the homicide, Dijon Cortez Abbott, 19, is a member of the south Augusta gang 23’rd, which is warring with another gang called 6Hunna or 600. Police also linked Abbott and seven other boys between 17 and 19 years old to a street shooting outside a house party on Thames Drive on June 29 that they also called gang-related.

Lt. Jason Vinson, who worked with the FBI’s gang unit before coming to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, said shootings related to gang activity have become more frequent, escalating quickly from physical fights to gunfire.

Vinson said he’s seen gang members getting more brazen about their allegiance recently. Instead of hiding the gang “colors,” they’re flaunting them and getting T-shirts and hats made that show that they are members.

The number of gangs in Richmond County is not clear. Investigator Ashley Pletcher said 30 but then questioned whether there are more.

“Every little or big neighborhood seems to have one,” she said.

Most of the gangs are comprised primarily of teens but some of the more established ones have older members who are related to the younger ones. Barton Village’s OWTT, or O-DUB, has been around since the 1990s and is one of the largest.

“The parents of the grown people I was investigating would claim (to be members),” Vinson said of the group that is estimated to have more than 100 members.

Two of last year’s homicides were determined to be the result of gang activity. Doniel Hicks, 24, and Truemaine Jones, 27, were both fatally shot at River Glen Apartments within a month of each other. Police said the second death was retaliation for the first.

Devon Harris, who works with “recovering gang addicts” through his organization Full Circle Refuge, said some of the homicides are gang-motivated, or an order handed down from top members, but others are gang-initiated, meaning it’s an individual member’s decision.

One of the misconceptions about local gangs, he said, is that they’re unorganized.

Most of them are organized with a ranking system, meetings and a “book of knowledge” that highlights their beliefs, alphabet and correct responses to particular questions. Some of the gangs are considered smaller chapters of larger national gangs such as the Bloods, Crips and Folk Nation.

Harris, who meets and speaks with gang members across the Augusta and Aiken area, said sometimes the only thing standing in the way of someone leaving a gang is finding steady employment. Selling drugs or stealing items to resell are sometimes easier for a recovering gang member than moving on, he said.
“Seventy percent of crime in any city is gang-related,” Harris estimated. “They have to survive.”

Richmond County Sheriff Richard Round­tree said he’s working to create a gang task force that can prevent criminal activity.

“One of my main goals is to prevent young men from entering into crime, winding up in prison or dying in the streets,” Roundtree said in an e-mail. “We understand that youth violence is a major problem in our area and for years we have seen a steady increase in gang-related incidents. … Our goal is not to just stop the cycle but to break it.”

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just an opinion
2351
Points
just an opinion 08/03/13 - 05:52 pm
16
4
Lets arm them all

Get them all together in the Civic Center, lock the doors and let them go at it. The last man alive wins. Why not? They're just going to end up in jail or dead anyway.

corgimom
27399
Points
corgimom 08/03/13 - 07:33 pm
12
5
"Barton Village’s OWTT, or

"Barton Village’s OWTT, or O-DUB, has been around since the 1990s and is one of the largest."

What? According to former sheriff Ronnie Strength, there weren't any gangs in Augusta.

But the city leaders will ignore this, they will be too busy making plans to shop at Bass Pro and going to the new movie theatre and congratulating themselves on what a great job they are doing.

corgimom
27399
Points
corgimom 08/03/13 - 07:34 pm
10
5
Just an Opinion, they should

Just an Opinion, they should have it at the TEE Center, God knows there's thousands of square feet of empty, unused space.

janderson1945
1819
Points
janderson1945 08/03/13 - 08:00 pm
10
4
Commissioners wake up

We have a Sheriff committed to making a difference who is honestly and openly addressing a real problem in our area. Every single candidate that ran for the office of Sheriff stated that the agency employees were grossly underpaid compared to other nearby and similar agencies and therefore turnover is high as they continue to loose seasoned employees who know the area. Secondly, when the commission cut between 40-50 deputy positions a few years back, they cut the agency to the bare minimum instead of providing the citizens with a well-staffed agency. The Sheriff shouldn’t have to be asking for deputies to make downtown safer or for personnel to tackle our gang problems because by the time the commissioners step up and do what is needed, it will be too late. Do your jobs and get the man what he needs to be more effective!

Properly fund and staff the Sheriff’s Office with the needed resources and equipment instead of ball parks, studies and a continue flow of wasted funds.

jmo
14271
Points
jmo 08/03/13 - 08:30 pm
10
2
I say....

bring back the "Electric Couch". More for your money.

RMSHEFF
13740
Points
RMSHEFF 08/03/13 - 09:17 pm
8
1
The deputies know who these

The deputies know who these thugs are but when they are arrested they are back on the street in a couple of hours. The sheriff's department needs the help of the citizens in these rough areas in order to clean things up and keep them clean. I have heard the people that live in the bad areas often don't co-operate with the police for some reason. The deputies can't do it alone. More money is not always the solution.

GiantsAllDay
9055
Points
GiantsAllDay 08/03/13 - 09:38 pm
4
7
Maybe if MyFather15 would

Maybe if MyFather15 would have beaten them as little defenseless children there would not have been any gangs.

shrimp for breakfast
5422
Points
shrimp for breakfast 08/03/13 - 11:50 pm
5
2
let them kill each other

As long as no innocent bystanders are hurt go ahead and let them have at it. It may sound hash but maybe they'll thin their ranks.

gargoyle
13318
Points
gargoyle 08/04/13 - 12:52 am
5
0
To contain the firestorm of

To contain the firestorm of gang activity you got to cut off the fuel by shutting off the illegal drug money. Pick a solution and make it happen and watch gang activity fall by the wayside. If history repeats its self and it usually does they will kill each other till they tire of it then consolidate and divide up turf . just like the probation era had the bootlegger money this era has drug money holding criminal organizations together.

gargoyle
13318
Points
gargoyle 08/04/13 - 01:06 am
6
1
"What? According to former

"What? According to former sheriff Ronnie Strength, there weren't any gangs in Augusta. " Corgimom . He called them a click and nothing to worry about while all the while gun shops were being robbed. And you are correct that our elected leaders could care less as long as it don't affect electability.

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 08/04/13 - 08:34 am
7
5
"Most of the gangs are
Unpublished

"Most of the gangs are comprised primarily of teens but some of the more established ones have older members who are related to the younger ones."
At LEAST 90% of the gang members come from section 8 housing. THANK YOU LIBERALS, DEMOCRATS AND BLACK LEADERS FOR THIS MESS.

dstewartsr
20388
Points
dstewartsr 08/04/13 - 09:38 am
7
1
Gang violence escalates

... THAT explains the sudden desire for our law enforcement masquerading as totalitatian state shock troops to stop law abiding citizens at roadblocks.

Much safer.

Ego556
327
Points
Ego556 08/04/13 - 09:41 am
4
2
and this problem will only

and this problem will only continue to get worse with Roundtree's "touchy/feely" approach to problems.

allhans
23197
Points
allhans 08/04/13 - 01:11 pm
4
1
The Al Qaeda threat was once

The Al Qaeda threat was once contained in an area that was well known. Then the head of the snake was removed and they spread over the world.. Reminds me a bit of Augusta.

damejacqueline
34
Points
damejacqueline 08/04/13 - 02:37 pm
4
0
Gangs are Terrorists!

The gang members should be treated like Osama bin Laden and his ilk...they are local and national terrorists! When they are caught, they should be executed the same way Muslim terrorists are...because they are no better than the jackasses that flew planes into the World Trade Center...when we bring back the electric chair, and use it, this mess will stop. And don't wait 20 years to do it!

rmwhitley
5526
Points
rmwhitley 08/04/13 - 03:15 pm
0
0
"White Crackers"
Unpublished

according to rangel.

corgimom
27399
Points
corgimom 08/04/13 - 03:46 pm
3
0
Why would they stop their

Why would they stop their behavior? They know they only have a 1 in 6 chance of being arrested, they know that their cases will be plea-bargained down, they know that even if they do get sentenced, they will only serve a few months.

They would be stupid to stop!

Fredman22
8
Points
Fredman22 08/04/13 - 07:18 pm
4
0
This is another subject I

This is another subject I have some strong feelings about. Having worked in the Department of Corrections for 10 years in the capacity of clinical counselor,I have had many conversations with individuals who were wreckless with their freedom and no matter how you framed the conversation, the term you can't disrespect me came into play, over and over. What that level of respect meant, is fairly nebulous, but believe me many in gangs will hurt others and themselves, over and over again with the belief that they are a special individuals and are willing to harm someone else to prove this point. By the way and this is anecdotal also, this goes back a generation or two, it is only manifesting itself now with the proliferation of gun violence.

JRC2024
7929
Points
JRC2024 08/05/13 - 09:28 am
2
0
Let them disrespect

Let them disrespect themselves by killing each other. No great loss to the community. As far as getting more funding and adding more police to patrol these areas, cut the so called entitlements to get the money. Decent tax paying people are tired of all the freebies just like the phones growing to several billion dollars a year and WHY.

corgimom
27399
Points
corgimom 08/05/13 - 10:32 am
1
0
Fredman, God bless you, you

Fredman, God bless you, you do special work. I could never do it.

Sweet son
9660
Points
Sweet son 08/05/13 - 11:46 am
1
0
Reckon any of these dudes went to the gun buy back on

Saturday? Probably not. That is why gun buy backs are useless!

kissofdeath
397
Points
kissofdeath 08/05/13 - 12:07 pm
0
2
The reason why the number of gangs in Richmond County

are not clear cause their are no gangs just a bunch of young punks want a name. However, the news media and Roundtree know this is a way to recieve more federal funding to explort and profile young black males behind bars with a gang charge over their head, who dont have a clue about a gang. Im sorry Richmond County does not have no gangs( cowards) just alot of informants.

navycubfan
194
Points
navycubfan 08/05/13 - 02:41 pm
0
0
Maybe if MyFather15 would have beaten them as little defenseless

Giant -

1) I don't think MyFather15 advocates beating. just loving discipline though applying "the board of education to the seat of understanding."
2) I also believe FREDMAN has a terrific point. Respect.

These two points when combined and used mixed with love and care by a loving father, does wonders. When discipline through spanking is salted with love and understanding the kids will, in turn, respect authority, respect other people and thereby earn the respect they are so desperately are looking for.

rmwhitley
5526
Points
rmwhitley 08/05/13 - 04:52 pm
0
0
I believe the
Unpublished

problem lies at the feet of the "white cracker", seriously. We have allowed garbage the likes of, rangel, berry, powell, jackson jr. and his wife, h. rap brown, angela davis and brian nichols to get away with crimes ( including murder ) because they are negroes. We, "white crackers", are so terrified of offending a society of less than 15% of the national population that commits almost ( if not ) 70% of the nation's crimes, including murder. Until they, negroes, take responsibility for their immaturity and lefty democrats continue to give them a pass, things are only going to get worse. The 11,000,000 to 20,000,000 illegal aliens see the weakness and are adding to the problem. The death penalty needs to be utilized at the same speed found in Middle Eastern countries.

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