The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

Gerry Connolly's Fairfax County

Doing the "artwork" and "education" that Americans won't do:

After months of investigating gang graffiti in central Springfield, police have charged nine males, including five middle schoolers, with gang-related activities, including gang graffiti and gang recruitment.

The five students, all between 12-years-old and 14-years-old, attend Mark Twain Middle School in Alexandria.

Between Dec. 2 and Dec. 5, several walls and trailers outside Lee High School were sprayed with messages, “immediately recognizable” as gang related, said Fairfax County police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell.

Tarin Najmi, 28, of Springfield; Harold Guanilo, 21, of Alexandria; Carlos Perea, 22, of Arlington; and a 17-year-old Arlington male were arrested for the incident and charged with felony destruction of property and gang participation. Information on the remaining suspects has not been released by police.

Three middle school students, two 13-year-olds and a 14-year-old, were charged with gang participation and gang recruitment for activities which occurred within the school during the week of March 10. Police also arrested two boys, ages 12-years-old and 13-years-old and charged them with destruction of a public building after graffiti was found written on bathroom walls with markers.

According to the search warrant affidavit filed in Fairfax County Circuit Court, one of the students “was actively recruiting other students at Mark Twain Middle School to join 'South Side Locos' between the months of November and December 2007,” the affidavit said.

No mention of the suspects' legality, which I suspect would be at least a slight bit significant in this case. (Particularly amongst the "older" youths—by which I mean, "thugs my age.")

As an aside, we've seen an increase of this kind of graffiti pop up around our neck of the woods as well over the past couple of years—An area that used to be very family-friendly, housing families that worked over on nearby Fort Belvoir.

One more reason why we're trying so hard to live Somewhere Other Than Here.

By the way, for all of you who have children in Fairfax County Public Schools, here is how seriously they take your role as your child's parent:

Fairfax County Public Schools did not send information to parents regarding the March 10 incident at Mark Twain, said spokesman Paul Regnier.

Thanks for making Fairfax County safe, Gerry. For criminals, that is.

Heh. "Eduaction..." Cute.


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