In a sustained effort to rid the city of gang and crime infested properties, City Attorney Mike Feuer announced this week that his office has filed a lawsuit against the owner and operator of a South Los Angeles duplex. The property is an alleged stronghold for the 38th Street and Vernon Hood Locos criminal street gangs and has allegedly been the site of rampant criminal activity including shootings, drug use and possession, gun possession, and loud parties.
“We allege that for too long, a toxic combination of gangs, guns and drugs has made the property a dangerous hazard in this neighborhood,” Feuer said. “We’ll continue to hold property owners responsible for these unacceptable conditions as we take back our communities.”
“This action signals another key step in a safer, more prosperous South Los Angeles, and a major victory for a community that has suffered for far too long,” said Council member Curren Price. “Thanks to the incredible efforts and tough-on-crime leadership of City Attorney Mike Feuer, our children, families and senior citizens can have more peace of mind and greater opportunity to live happier, more productive lives.”
The City Attorney has filed an abatement lawsuit against Miguel A. Valencia and his mother, Senorina Lara, who have owned, operated, and resided at the duplex located at 1331 East 43rd Street since 2002. The property, which includes two structures on a single lot, is located within close proximity to three public schools: Ascot Elementary, Jefferson High School, Roberti Early Education Center, as well as two public parks and several churches.
The complaint alleges the property has long been documented as a hub for gang-related violence, drug use and possession, illegal parties, and other dangerous nuisance activity perpetrated by members of the 38th Street and Vernon Hood Locos gangs and their associates. The property has been the site for multiple shootings including an incident in November, 2017, when a gang member at the property allegedly shot at a passerby in broad daylight, and in August, 2017, when the property was hit by a barrage of gunfire in the middle of the night.
The lawsuit also alleges the property has been the site of several gang-related late-night parties in 2016 and 2017, during which attendees blocked the streets with vehicles, illegally amplified music, and consumed illegal narcotics.
The lawsuit seeks an injunction prohibiting gang and criminal activity on the property and comprehensive physical and managerial improvements. The lawsuit also seeks a court order enjoining the defendants and their associates from permitting the transmission of any loud or raucous noise from the property.
Feuer and Price have made cleaning-up crime ridden properties a major focus. Feuer has also established an easy-to-use online method through which residents may report properties with gang and/or narcotics activity in their neighborhoods. He’s asking residents to report these properties by calling his office at (213) 978-8340 or visiting the City Attorney’s website: https://www.lacityattorney.org/report-problem-properties. All reports may be made anonymously.