NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Did a dangerous street gang strike again?
New video released by the NYPD on Tuesday shows a group attacking a 14-year-old boy in the middle of the Bronx River Parkway last week. He was stabbed several times and remained in the hospital in critical condition.
The vicious melee happened just two days before a 15-year-old with dreams of one day becoming an NYPD officer was stabbed and killed outside a bodega in the Belmont section of the Bronx.
In both instances, police suspect the crimes were the work of the notorious “Trinitarios” street gang. The rash of violence has people in the Bronx scared to walk the streets, wondering how and when it will hit home.
“People in gangs don’t care about their lives,” Bronx resident Kenny Pabon told CBS2. “Pretty much don’t care about nobody else’s lives.”
Police say the recent attacks were committed by younger members in the Bronx, the oldest of whom is 21-years-old. Most members Trinitarios are of Dominican descent. While some are affiliated with the original prison gang formed in the 90s and others aren’t, they all generally follow the same cutthroat rules.
“If you go mess with them, they do have a reputation of retaliating,” Bronx resident Gabrielle Perez said.
According to federal documents obtained by CBS2, a member’s obligations include studying the rules and history of the gang before swearing an oath. After becoming an insider, members must “always support each other.”
“If a Trinitarios member is wounded the Trinitarios will avenge the assault,” according to documents. One may also be “ordered to commit acts of violence against another person.”
Sources tell CBS2 the gang’s weapon of choice is a machete or knife, as displayed in the gruesome murder of Leandro Guzman-Feliz, known by friends and family as “Junior.”
Police say Junior’s death came down to a case of mistaken identity.
“It really doesn’t make sense how it’s always the young people getting hurt nowadays,” Bronx resident Jada Cuevas said.
CBS2 took the community’s concerns straight to NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea.
“This gang is not new to us, we’re very familiar with how they operate,” said Shea. “We will leave no stone unturned. If you flee to Paterson, if you flee to Wyoming, we will get you.”
Shea did admit despite the department’s best efforts, they need to be fighting even harder.
“If there’s one incident we’re not doing enough because there should be none,” said Shea.
The NYPD says it has a comprehensive plan of action to take down the Trinitarios and other violent gangs. They’ll be dedicating many more resources from the anti-gang and patrol units to hopefully curb the uptick in violence.
Although overall crime is down in the city, statistics show the murder rate in the precinct where Junior was killed has increased this year. So far, there have been eight murders compared to four during the same period last year.
Three of those murders happened in the past month, compared to just one during the same period last year. Murders are also up 6.6 percent citywide year to date.
Police believe the Trinitarios are also responsible for a robbery on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The suspects were seen leaving a subway station at Lexington Avenue and 76th Street last week after allegedly hitting a 46-year-old woman in the head and stabbing her.