Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Hispanics kill man so they could join the Surenos gang if they ever went to prison

Alison Gendar:

They stumbled out of a Queens bar, intent on finding someone to kill.
The four men wanted to join the notorious Surenos prison gang and had decided to kill someone to meet the gang's initiation rites.

Filled with alcohol and rage, they sprung upon a group of complete strangers walking along Roosevelt Ave. in Corona, cops say. When it was over, Jorge Vasquez was dead.

"He was such a good guy. He liked soccer, listening to music and dancing," Vasquez's sister Modesta said. "He didn't deserve this."

Jorge Vasquez, 27, a Mexican immigrant who moved to New York about four years ago, had just finished working his shift as a dishwasher at a Manhattan restaurant. He was heading to a bar early on Dec. 6 when he was attacked at random and killed.

The suspects, all restaurant workers, said they got the idea to kill a stranger after reading on the Internet about the initiation rites of the Surenos, a California prison gang, a law enforcement source said.

The men said they wanted a slaying under their belts so they could join the gang, which has members across the nation, if they were ever sent to prison, the source said.

"This is something stupid," Modesta Vasquez said. "I couldn't believe it. I didn't know what to say when I heard it. I thought it was a lie at first."

Clenching her fists, she added, "They've got to pay for what they did."

The suspects - Felix Ceca, 23; Victor Gonzalez, 21; Luis Romero, 24, and Gregorio Ocult, 19 - were caught barely a block away from the fatal stabbing. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said the suspects acted with a "wolf-pack mentality."

The suspects apparently plotted the attack while drinking at the Tulcingo Cafe on Roosevelt Ave. After the bar closed at 4 a.m., they began "chasing down and randomly assaulting anyone who got in their way," Brown said.

Police said the intoxicated men dropped the knife used to kill Vasquez at the scene. After their arrests, the suspects passed out and slept for 12 hours in police custody before detectives could interview them, a law enforcement source said.

They were charged with second-degree murder, attempted murder, gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon. If convicted of the most serious charges, they each face 75 years to life in prison.

Vasquez's sister said her brother's body was sent back to Mexico. He was buried in Guerrero, where his parents still live.

Hispanic Gangs in Los Angeles County

Surenos

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