Alleged gang members arrested in Hamilton

By Dan Wells - bio | email

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - The Hamilton Police Department says gangs will not operate in their city.

Police arrested several members of the Riverside 500 Bloods gang.

Police say they have identified at least 36 people affiliated with the gang. They've arrested some, but others are still on the street.

Hamilton police say the members of the Riverside Gang have rap sheets that include assault, drug trafficking and attempted murder.

"Right now, what we're looking at is six juveniles and seven adults," said Rich Burkhardt with Hamilton Police. "All the juveniles have been taken into custody. Five of the adults have been arrested with charges and two are outstanding."

Members of that gang are known for wearing red bandanas and spray-painting a "500" symbol on fences and walls around the city of Hamilton.

"There are things that they do, (like) graffiti, the tattoos, the five stars with the 500, that's the tattoo and they wear red. I think it's a blood thing," said Burkhardt.

Hamilton police say the gang problem in this area has been going on for years, and now that they've arrested this latest batch of guys, they say the streets should be a lot safer, but they also say a lot of work still has to be done.

"They've identified 36, they've got 13, and 11 of them are off the street right now," said Burkhardt. "Hopefully it gives some relief to the people."

Residents in Hamilton's second ward didn't shy away from talking about gang crime on the streets.

"You know, I haven't been in Hamilton very long but you do see some, and to hear these guys are off the streets, that's a very good thing because I have an 11-year-old, and he does whatever he sees, and I don't want him to do that," said Hamilton resident Shannon Roberts.

Others say quick police work has kept the issue from getting out of hand.

"You know, I think that it has been kept kinda down from where I live," said another resident, Sandra Guzman. "I haven't heard anything, so I think it's been kept pretty good."

Investigators say anyone who sees this type of tagging on walls in their neighborhood should call Hamilton Police.

They're working right now to get all those indicted gang members in custody.