Thursday, 24 September 2009

Dark Side Rascals who have been battling with the Hanover Boyz and Providence Street Boys in the West End

War among several street gangs erupted in violence this weekend and left five people, including a pregnant teenage girl, with gunshot wounds although none of them are considered life-threatening.Sgt. Michael P. Wheeler, head of the Providence Police Gang Unit, said that investigators suspect that the gunfire involved members of the Dark Side Rascals who have been battling with the Hanover Boyz and Providence Street Boys in the West End.The Hanover Boyz and Providence Street Boys are allies.
“It’s an ongoing feud that has been quiet for a while,” Wheeler said. “We’re trying to find out what prompted this to take off. We don’t know why.”The shootings took place over a span of two hours on Friday night.At 6:45 p.m., police said that Nick Neang, 19, was sitting on the porch of a house at 23 Union Ave. with two members of the Dark Side Rascals when a black Honda sedan crawled by and a shooter fired several times from the passenger’s side window.The police said that one of the shots ripped through Neang’s back and collapsed one of his lungs. The other two gang members were not hit.Neang was taken to Rhode Island Hospital where he is expected to recover from the wound, the police said.About two hours later, at 8:50 p.m., two or three young men, whom the police believe are members of the Dark Side Rascals, slipped into a yard on Superior Street, not far from the site of a birthday party at 126 Ford St.Wheeler said that several members of the Hanover Boyz and Providence Street Boys attended the celebration, but he said that it was not a “gang party.” He said most those in attendance have no gang affiliation and there were many young women and children.The police said that the young men believed to be members of the Dark Side Rascals opened fire with two guns and pumped at least 10 shots into the group of 15 to 20 people in the driveway outside the Ford Street address.Wheeler said that four girls were struck: a bullet grazed one girl, another suffered a gunshot wound to the leg and a third was shot in the toe. He said that a fourth girl, who is well-advanced in her pregnancy, suffered a superficial wound.
Their ages ranged from 13 to 19 years old.The girls were all treated and released from Hasbro Children’s Hospital and Rhode Island Hospital.Police Maj. Thomas F. Oates III said he’s relieved that no one was killed or seriously hurt in the barrage of gunfire, especially the random firing into the crowd at the birthday party. He said that patrol officers as well as those from the gang unit, detectives and the Neighborhood Response Team flooded the West End over the weekend to stem the violence.Oates also said that the police relied on street workers from the Institute for the Study & Practice of Nonviolence to calm things down.Teny O. Gross, the institute’s executive director, said that the bad blood between the Dark Side Rascals and the Providence Street Boys Juniors, its younger members, have been brewing


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