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EASTSIDE ESCALATION


by Ethan Stewart

According to authorities, saber rattling between two Eastside gangs is responsible for the recent rash of violence on the lower Eastside. Two young men, ages 16 and 18, were admitted to the Cottage Hospital emergency room last Thursday afternoon with stab wounds from an alleged gang fight near the Cacique Street footbridge. The younger of the two was in critical condition due to a thigh wound that nicked an artery. Just hours later, another man was beaten unconscious around the 1100 block of Indio Muerto Street in an incident police believe to be directly related to the stabbing. Twenty-six-year-old Michael Castaneda was arrested early Friday morning on two counts of assault with a deadly weapon for his supposed role in the Thursday stabbing. The violence — according to a police spokesperson — is part of a battle for “respect” between the mostly teenaged gang the Traviesos and the slightly older Crazies. Since early March, there have been at least four known gang-related incidents of violence in lower Eastside neighborhoods. Further violence was averted last Friday afternoon when police swarmed a brewing brawl in the Cacique footbridge area, detaining 20 alleged gang members and arresting seven others for assorted weapons and probation violations. Police say gang members are attempting to broker a truce on their own.



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