Dededo mayor taking action against gang violence
by Mindy Aguon
Guam - There's been a rise in crime in recent months and police haven't been able to pinpoint the cause of the increase. But residents in Dededo believe there's a growing gang problem in their area.
Two Good Samaritans were jumped by a group of individuals believed to be in a gang last Saturday night. One nearly lost his life and residents are calling on police and elected officials to do something before someone is killed.
Residents who live on Chalan Talo in the northern village don't know what it will take before someone steps in to help them. They've repeatedly called police about rioting on the streets, speeding vehicles, and disturbances, but last Saturday night one of the residents was nearly beaten to death. The residents declined to be interviewed on camera for fear of their safety, but Mayor Melissa Savares has been apprised of the situation.
Around eight o'clock last Saturday night, residents saw a car come barreling through the street in excess of 80 miles per hour and then watched as the car crashed into the jungle at the end of the street. "What happened the residents who were in the garage did run over and see if anyone was hurt and try to help whoever was in the vehicle. At that time when the two individuals went up there they were attacked by those that were drinking in the jungle area at the end of the street," said the mayor.
One man received a gash to his head from what was believed to be a crow bar. He needed 18 stitches to one of his knees and sustained bruising and cuts throughout his body. A woman also sustained injuries as she tried to fight off the attackers. Doctors told them that had the gash been a half-inch deeper, the man would have died.
Concerned about the safety of her constituents and the many young children who live on the street, Mayor Savares visited the location today. "I came up here to take a look at the area and I did find an area in the jungle where you can tell people have been congregating and drinking alcohol," he said.
Residents believe those who were involved in the attack are acquaintances of several individuals who actually live on the street and frequent the street to hang out and drink. KUAM News found their hangout in the nearby jungle littered with beer cans and alcohol.
While she waits on police to make arrests in the case and locate the individuals responsible for the attack, Mayor Savares says she is working to clear some of the jungle so the group will have to find somewhere else to hangout. "We're going to come up here with our equipment and try to open up this area a bit so we kind of close off the congregated area," she said. "It's just a boonie area, and work with [GPD's] Dededo Precinct to see what we can do to reduce if it is gang related activity find out who's involved and reduce the incidences up here."
At this point police have not confirmed that those involved in last Saturday's attack are part of a gang. Residents have simply heard that information from other individuals and the mayor and police are still trying to get more information on that. We are told that police do have the names of the attackers but no arrests have been made yet.