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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Gang Vandals Avoiding Nuisance Prosecution


submitted by Green Consciousness

Our home was vandalized. My mother who owns it is 89. We had been trying to
find some way to pay for normal repairs and we still owe on property taxes.

Then juvenile delinquents spray painted "Latin Kings" on our house. With all
our bills we cannot afford to clean it off. Allstate Insurance will not pay because we don't have a special vandalism rider. You should think of adding that to your home
owner's insurance because the gang problem has come to Janesville whether you call them wannabe or whatever to minimize the problem.

This is not happening because kids have nothing to do - this is about who controls
territory. Who sells dope in that area. Who can be there. This is marking an area so
other gangs know that if they enter, there will be a fight.

These are Hispanic gangs whose parents, many who are not in the country legally, have been attracted to Janesville by employers who want cheap labor. But tax payers are the ones who pay the real price, in our property taxes and public services.

It is important to see the big picture. Unless you want thug mentality to destroy your way of life, you have to fight the contractors, restaurant owners and bakeries that are hiring the gang's parents for substandard wages and no benefits. Along with the parents come the gangs, the dog fighting and all the crime associated with it.

Show up at Council meetings and ask them what they are doing about the over 5 thousand illegal in Janesville and Beloit in terms of sanctions against those who employ them.

Ask them to call ICE into the Janesville Beloit area.

Ask them to require all our employers comply with the social security checks Homeland Security has proposed.

Ask them to appoint citizens to a Gang Task Force.

Next, let's look at the criminal justice system. We have 3 excellent police officers on the gang squad to cover approximately 100 gang members, morning, noon, and night.
Impossible. They receive excellent cooperation from Parker School but no citizen support. This is another reason for the Gang Task Force to be formed.

The real and ultimate failure is with the District Attorney's Office which has utterly failed this community in terms of curbing gang growth. Employers who hire illegal parents need to pay for the damage the children do in the community.

Our Courts should be fining employers. Those fines should be restitution for the innocent that pay for their cheap labor by being victims of crimes. The Courts have not had a chance to show us their attitude toward gang crime. The employers are not being prosecuted. The juvenile delinquent's crimes are not being prosecuted but instead referred to social services.

The Juvenile prosecutor, Dan Niedfeldt and his boss, DA David O' Leary are to blame. I guess if you are not the Rotary Garden, your property does not deserve legal protection.

There are provisions in the law that would allow a Judge to sentence these thugs to clean up the mess and/or pay for the clean up. But that cannot happen if DA Dan Niedfeldt keeps kicking these boys out of the legal system into social services.

We need to tell DA David O' Leary that if he is not going to clean up the gangs in
Janesville by at least prosecuting the juvenile delinquents, the next election we'll sweep him out of office.

I am planning to meet with the other property owners who have been vandalized. Perhaps together we can make a difference.

Please care about the victims because if we do not stop this now, it could be your home or your mother.


Anonymous said...

More and more laws are being created to keep criminals OUT of jail. And political party affiliation doesn't matter as neither side wants to be the one to raise the taxes on law abiding citizens to keep the lawbreakers behind bars.

Perhaps that is one of the driving forces behind the Janesville nuisance law which seems to be designed to punish the innocent homeowner for the deeds of guilty. Confiscate the property, raze the house but whatever you do, don't jail the guilty party and raise taxes by housing them in confinement. Ditto, with the sex offender web pages.

Greenconsciousness said...


This is GC. I have calmed down a little. I found out that the police are not referring the vandals to the criminal DA but instead to the city DA. Because homeowner vandalism does not have the same importance as the Rotary Garden vandalism.

In criminal court you can get restitution but I have no idea what a municipal violation can do for the VICTIMS. I know the city can collect a fine.

The truth is I know these are Hispanic gangs but I have no idea if their parents are legal or illegal immigrants. I do think we as citizens should get this info -- that we have a right to this info but I have no idea how it can be gathered. If the City Council would establish a Task Force maybe they could do it by reviewing the police complaints. But I do not think the police ask the parents if they are citizens. Too intrusive.

But if we had solid information on where these juvenile delinquents are being produced, then we would know how to approach the problem. I do still feel this is a problem of Hispanic immigration and the Hispanic community should lead the fight to get it under control. From what I have heard it is happening in Beloit too.

The Messenger is doing a story on this which will come out this Sunday. About 15 homes, utility boxes and something at the school were spray painted. It costs about $200.00 to clean it off. You have to rent the city's air brush. It is a sensitive issue and I want to be fair but I do not want to pay for this finacially.

Lou Kaye said...

For one thing, it's not wise to combat gang activity on your own and unfortunately, you're not going to solve this deeply rooted anti-social and violent behavior by deporting illegal immigrants.
It's a national problem and getting worse every day.

I really believe that your recent experience dealing with this matter (gang graffiti and vandalism) runs right at the heart of what is wrong with Janesville City government. The expanded Janesville nuisance law is a travesty of justice against both the home owners and the vandals. But most importantly, we do not have a ward supervisor or an alderman representing our interests at city hall. Businesses have the inside track in Janesville at our expense.

Other than a conscientious cop making an extra run or two by your house, you're petty much SOL. This might sound like a broken record but anonymous above made a good point. More and more our laws are designed to keep them out of jail and law abiding citizens are given the added chore as neighborhood wardens. You'll pay for this with money, time and aggravation.

Eventually, we'll all pay.

Greenconsciousness said...

Louis Kay

I know you are correct in many ways. It is the degradation of employee rights by in-sourcing and out-sourcing for the benefit of the wealthy elite that bothers me most about illegal immigration.

So then when on top of that I saw "Latin Kings" on my house, I went into a rage. When I found out I had to pay $200.00 to fix it and the juveniles were going to be fined with a municipal ticket and case dismissed, I just collapsed. Between the nuisance law, the ever rising property taxes for schools which produce gangs, why don't they just kill the elderly and give all our stuff to the city council to make bike paths?

I don't ask for jail time. I want their parents to pay for the rental equipment and get out there with the vandal and clean off every piece of graffiti from everything they tagged and I want the police to watch them do it.

One 80 year old woman had a penis drawn on her garage door. It still shows although her son scrubbed all day. Her children do not want her to be public and who can blame them? This is sickening.

Lou Kaye said...

Your perspective of the illegal immigrant issue is spot-on. Some politicians in Washington want to offer worker-visas to keep "illegals" illegal which of course only legalizes the low-wage criminal employer, while completely ignoring all the real problems.

Believe it or not, I know what it's like to have been "tagged" cleaned off, and sandblasted only to be tagged again. This happened to my garage several times in a different city years ago.

It's a problem no one asks for and I know this is easy to say, but it's not worth getting sick over.
I'll be looking forward to the Messenger article and hope your activism on this matter pays off.

Greenconsciousness said...

Guess why the DA does not want to prosecute Hispanic gangs? Because we have a lot of Hispanic people in Janesville/Beloit and they vote. The DA is elected. I now am really stunned but I should have known.

Today I wrote the city attorney.

To: Wald Klimczyk
City Attorney
18 N Jackson Street
Janesville 53547

I am aware that the extensive vandalism to our homes could have been handled as a criminal matter by the DA but when that office does not want to deal with what they consider minor matters, they refer them to the City Attorney's Office.

So now I am aware that the police have referred this vandalism to the City Atty instead of the DA, although the vandalism should be in criminal court.

However, the City Attorney does have the power to ask for restitution and
community service and I hope you will do so.

If the DA does not consider gangs something he can touch because of political considerations, then that is tragic for Janesville and a matter to be considered when O'Leary runs for re-election.

I am requesting that the City Attorney's Office petition the Court to force these juveniles to remove their damage as part of their sentence because if they are not required to do this they will retag the houses when their graffiti is removed. This has been the pattern in other cities where gangs have moved into neighborhoods.

Additionally, it costs about $200.00 to rent
the city's sandblasting equipment and victims should not have to incur this expense.


Sarah Zeller (608) 752-0777, ext. 310, is a reporter doing the Messenger
article which will come out Sunday

Subject: west side graffiti locations

Royal Oaks entire garage door ruined
Mole Av.tag
Peterson Av. penis sprayed on garage
Peterson tagged
Church St. house tagged
Osborne tagged
Purvis Av. LK for Latin Kings on side of

In addition incidents occurred at Parker High School, Bond Bark, and to some of the public utility boxed in the immediate area of my property on Purvis.

Lou Kaye said...

This is just my opinion but I highly doubt the county DA refused this case pandering to the growing hispanic voting population. Even if they entertained it, they in turn would be willing to forfeit the heavy majority caucasian vote? Again, that's just my opinion.

Your vandalism charge and restitution should be the perfect case for our newly minted nuisance law here in Janesville. Next to noise, grafitti and the destruction of other's property has to be near the top of nuisance abatement concerns. In fact, if suspect(s) were apprehended, the bill for the city cleaning equipment should be charged to them and written up like a bounced check till its paid.

Your's will put Janesville's nuisance law to the test and this is what I'm really interested in seeing.

Greenconsciousness said...

You may be right about the DA but then why did they bounce it to the city atty ? They did not treat the Rotary Gardens that way. The cops are frantic about the growth of gangs.
It was the DA who bounced it --15 counts????

I thought you were talking about that law where landlords are made to pay for frequent calls to their property when you talked about nuisance law ??

Are you talking about a different law? How does that involve my case? Or rather what angle are you interested in??

Greenconsciousness said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Greenconsciousness said...

sorry misspelled nuisance

Lou Kaye said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lou Kaye said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lou Kaye said...

Put it this way, if grafitti, defacing property and vandalism doesn't fall under the umbrella of "nuisance." I don't know what does. This is a clear case of definitions, in the most fundamental way. If we don't see their highly publicized nuisance law show us the bite they claim it has for restitution and abatement, what good is it?

And what difference does it make to city officials or law enforcement that a vandal or a tenant tagged or trashed their own building or a neighbor's building? Is the nuisance any less? This is the angle I'm looking at.

Anonymous said...

But that law is to sanction landlords for the nuisance caused by their tenants -- here the tenants are innocent victims -- neither of the parties named in the law, tenants or landlords, are the subjects of police action but rather are victims of crime - so the nuisance law will not apply (that is how I understand it).

I have to get the city atty address off this blog because of spam bots -- can you do it?

Lou Kaye said...

Sure, but the law was meant to become actionable from reports of nuisances, and create a path for abatement, restitution and or make good on an effort to avoid the problem again. Landlords, tenants, taxpayers can all still be victims.

If the new ordinance can't help your case which seems to be clearly defined, then the new ordinance was never meant to deal with nuisances. It would then appear to merely use the nuisance complaint as a vehicle for a different agenda targeting landlords OR tenants at the discretion of authorities. This was my fear to begin with.

Greenconsciousness said...

Well I wrote him again and asked him to tell me what the charges are. The city atty is empowered to use some of the criminal statutes like trespassing and DC. I had the feeling he was going to use those. I will write and let you know what he tells me the charges actually are. I hope the Messenger article is good because the Gazette is a lost cause.

Anonymous said...

I've read all of these comments on this post and thought what a fresh breathe of air this is to see a normal conversation of views on a blog.

Anyways, Lou, your understanding of the recent Janesville nuisance ordinance is what most would like to believe, including myself. But after reading this and getting the impression the ordinance won't apply to GC's problem, it seems to be the expanded ordinance was designed to help authorities more than the complainant community. That is, to push the corrective measures onto somebody else (landlords) than to have police break their routine with another call from a repeat. The nuisance here was never about the belligerence of a vandal, loud and obnoxious misconduct or grafitti. The subject nuisance was only the nuisance it created for the police department to respond.

Lou Kaye said...

Scotte, I understand exactly where you're coming from on that. And as much as I agree with you for the most part, I hope WE are wrong.

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