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Judge Busch to issue preliminary injunction against Oakdale Mob

A victorious Deputy City Attorney Machaela Hoctor emerges from a packed court room, jubilant over San Francisco Superior Court Judge Peter Busch' issuance
of a preliminary injunction against the notorious gang affiliated Oakdale Mob.
Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

By Julia Cheever, Bay City News Service

November 22, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - A San Francisco Superior Court judge said today he will issue a preliminary injunction restricting the actions of members of an alleged gang known as the Oakdale Mob in a four-block area of the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood.

The injunction to be issued by Judge Peter Busch will bar more than 20 alleged members of the gang identified by city lawyers from associating with one another, committing crimes or carrying out so-called "nuisance'' activities in the area.

It will continue a temporary restraining order Busch granted on Oct. 30 in a civil lawsuit filed by the office of City Attorney Dennis Herrera under a state law prohibiting public nuisances.

Busch said at the close of a hearing that the injunction will also bar the identified individuals from loitering in the four-block area, which is near Oakdale public housing complex, between midnight and 5:30 a.m.

Herrera said after the hearing, "Today's ruling is a victory for a community that deserves to live in safety and peace, free from the constant threat of gang violence.''

City lawyers contend the gang's alleged criminal conduct, including murders, drug dealing, shootings, carjackings, robberies and assaults, as well as its intimidation of community residents and blocking of the streets amounted to "a severe public nuisance'' under the state law.

Deputy City Attorney Machaela Hoctor argued during the hearing, "The civil rights of the community are paramount to the rights of gang members."

Damone Hale, a lawyer for Shanteak Harris of Pleasanton, one of 22 alleged gang members identified by Herrera's office, said after the hearing that no decision had been made on whether to appeal.

He said his client contends the injunction is unnecessary and that community members were not consulted about it.

The attorney added, "This is just a preliminary stage'' and said he will begin gathering evidence for the next stage of the case, which will be a full trial on the city attorney's request for a permanent injunction.

Attorney Damone Hale

Hale said he expects a trial within a year.

Busch said he would issue the preliminary injunction sometime after receiving proposed wording from both sides on Tuesday. Until then, the temporary restraining order will remain in effect.

The preliminary injunction will last until the not-yet-scheduled trial is held.

The use of a civil injunction against gang members under the nuisance law was upheld by the California Supreme Court in 1997.

City attorney's office spokesman Matt Dorsey said that while the procedure has been used in several Southern California cases, this case marks the first time a preliminary injunction has been issued in San Francisco.

The order will apply for the time being to the 22 people identified by city lawyers, but Busch said the injunction will include provisions for adding or deleting names if evidence is provided.

The ban on association among gang members allows exceptions for school and church activities. Busch said that when he issues the written injunction, he will decide whether to include additional exceptions.

Other elements of the preliminary injunction will include bans on drug dealing and possession, gun possession, loitering with the intent to sell drugs, defacing property with graffiti, intimidating witnesses and trespassing on property not open to the general public, which includes the Oakdale housing complex.

The injunction can be enforced through either civil contempt of court, with jail sentences of up to five days, or through prosecution for a criminal misdemeanor, with jail sentences of up to six months.

Copyright © 2006 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.




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