Local leaders talk about the rising gang violence and combating it with community resources
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - On Tuesday, police arrested five people who police say may be associated with two rival gangs in Fort Wayne.
The two adults arrest were, 22-year-old Aristotle King and 18-year-old Marcus Martin Jr. Their charges rang from criminal recklessness, obstruction of justice, and fleeing law enforcement. They also confiscated seven firearms during the investigation.
FWPD officials say the city has seen a recent “rash of violence” between two local street gangs and is working on tracking down key players and the FWPD’s gang and violent crimes unit says it is working to minimize the violence between the groups.
“It saddens me to see young people engage in that type of activity. When you have young people who don’t have connectivity to something greater than themselves, that’s what happens.” says Joe Jordan, President & CEO of Boys and Girls Club of Fort Wayne.
He recommend getting young people involved with community based organizations and activities. He compares it to BGC of Fort Wayne calling it a version of a gang and elaborated saying “Boys and girls club is really a gang. You have a membership. You have a feeling of belonging, as adults, kids, human beings in general, need to feel that feeling of belonging. When it’s not, that’s when young kids get engaged in these type of activities, so it breaks my heart to see that but I can we have to connect these young people to something greater than themselves.”
ABC21 also spoke with the coordinator of the Fort Wayne UNITED’s Ten Point Coalition who told us it’s important to get to the source of the problems. “I think we need to get to the root cause and get to the families. Some of these children are handling some heavy burdens. Some are dealing with loss, some dealing with poverty and some just need a friend. So, when you think about what is happening it takes us all to come together and to help build up these 40 assets that make our children whole.”
King and Jordan both tell us the importance of community resources and letting young people there are people and places to go, so that they dont feel the need to turn to the streets.
Officials say they hope the arrests will lead to a reduction in violence between the two groups, and ask anyone with information to contact the GVCU at 260-427-5575 or GVCU@cityoffortwayne.org, Crime Stoppers at 260-436-7867, or use the free anonymous P3 Tips app.
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