Sterling Park Sees Gang Violence

Sterling Park Sees Gang Violence

Sheriff’s Office Investigates Gang Violence

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a gang-related assault last Monday afternoon in Sterling between a teenage Sterling boy and several other males.

After receiving a call, June 12, about a fight in progress, deputies responded to the intersection of East Holly Avenue and North Kennedy Drive in Sterling. Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Kraig Troxell said several residents witnessed six to eight men assaulting a 16-year-old Sterling boy. Suspects were alleged to have flashed gang signs when they fled the area in a silver Acura and a gold Toyota.

THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE is aware of gang presence in Sterling Park, Troxell said. The biggest gang-related crime that occurs in the area is graffiti.

"One gang will tag a spot to show they’re here, then another will tag that spot," he said. "It’s a ‘tag war.’"

As for now, the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigative Unit and the Gang Intelligence Unit are investigating "what exactly happened" Monday and attempt to identify the suspects, Troxell said.

Sgt. Dave Zuleger is one of four investigators that make up the Gang Intelligence Unit in Leesburg.

"When a gang-related activity occurs, we pull out any intelligence from gang members [about the crime] that occurred or [about crimes that] may occur in the future," Zuleger said. "The assault is still under investigation, but it was gang related. I’m not going to mention which gangs because we don’t want to give them any recognition."

Zuleger said the assault was not related to gang initiation, but was gang-on-gang activity.

LOUDOUN COUNTY is home to approximately 12 gangs, Zuleger said.

"The majority of the gangs in Loudoun County appear east of Route 15," he added.

In an effort to monitor gang activity in Sterling Park, patrol units drive through the area everyday.

Although a number of gangs exist in Sterling Park, violent gang activity rarely involves the civilian population, Zuleger said.

"Normally, it’s gang-on-gang activity," he said, "not gang-on-civilian activity."