Gang problems continue in East Albany - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Gang problems continue in East Albany

May 25, 2007

Albany - - An East Albany family believes a gang is targeting them and they want police to do something about it. Earlier this week, a 24 year old college student says he was jumped by gang members and days later, the threats to him and his family continue. 

"If you don't become part of the gang, then you're not allowed to walk out your door. If you do walked out your door, you're being picked on," says Vetty Boone, an East Albany resident who has had enough.

"A gun was pulled in front of me and my two children and on my oldest son."

She just moved into her Edwards Street home and feels she's in the middle of gang territory.

"The Albany Police Department came out here and removed some sneakers that they had hanging over the wire."

This week she says her oldest son was coming home from Albany Tech when bullies approached him for no reason.

"Then four of them rushed up in the yard, I pushed my son back in the house. And he said, 'No mother, I'm not going to let them keep taking my manhood like that'."

"It's like I'm constantly picked at or whatever. I'm trying to stay out of trouble. I'm trying to be a man about the situation," her son says.

He adds its hard when people younger them him threaten his life.

"When we came to the door, my son was standing in the yard. The boy was standing there in front of the mailbox and he pulled a black and gray gun looked like a 38 and he was pointing at my son and told him he'll shoot him and I ran out there and said please don't shoot my son," Boone says.

They didn't.

"He said 'boy its your lucky day. I'm not going to do it in front of your mother'."

But just a couple days later, they came back with boards slamming them at the family's home. The 24 year old, his younger brother and sister and young cousins now all fear for their safety.

"If I keep walking and doing my same routine everyday going to school they may catch me a gain like they did last time and probably do something worse," he says.

The District's Attorney's office wants to get involved in these cases.

"There's a cycle now here in Dougherty County and we want to address the cycle and maybe cut it off," says Chief Assistant District Attorney Greg Edwards.

They want to try more criminal cases involving gangs on the federal level so that offenders will serve time in prison without parole.

"For the middle aged mother sitting in her East Albany home right now scared to go outside of her doors at night, afraid to walk outside, is there hope?" we asked Edwards.

"Yeah, there's hope. There's hope. We can not let gangs control the lives of citizens," he said.

This close-knit family is praying whoever is targeting them will soon get the hint.

"Were not into no violence, were just trying to live," Boone says.

Albany Police say they are running surveillance on that East Albany community and they're questioning neighbors about the problem.

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