NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police on Sunday released surveillance video of several teens wanted in connection to a possible gang-related slashing in the Bronx last month.
The NYPD says the group approached their 17-year-old victim near the corner of East 196th Street and Jerome Avenue where they proceeded to slash the him on the head and punch him about the body.
The victim was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was treated for the laceration to his head.
Investigators say the incident is believed to be gang-related and are looking into whether or not the suspects, each between 14 and 18 years old, are members of the brutal Trinitarios street gang, according to sources.
Eight alleged members of the gang were already facing charges in the vicious slaying of a 15-year-old Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, an innocent Bronx boy with dreams of one day becoming an NYPD officer. Two days prior, police say a group attacked a 14-year-old boy in the middle of the Bronx River Parkway leaving him in critical condition.
In both instances, police suspect the crimes were the work of the notorious 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.”
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 Guzman-Feliz, known by friends and family as “Junior.”
NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea admitted last week 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.