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Gang members caught ‘red-handed’ tagging 100 yards of sound wall

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POSTED February 10, 2010 2:49 a.m.
Six teenage taggers with red and black paint on their hands were detained by Manteca Police shortly before midnight Saturday after the officers spotted fresh paint on 100 yards of sound wall.

Officers confronted the youths as they walked away from the wall at South Union Road and Parkview Street.  Painted on the wall in red and black was a variety of gang symbols and gang terms, police said.

Sgt. Michael Sexon said officers recovered a can of red spray paint and one of black spray paint in a nearby park.  They also discovered all the park benches and tables along with children’s playground equipment that had been sprayed with the paint.  The gang graffiti matched the graffiti on the sound wall displaying XIV and VLN.  Also XIV and Norte had been spray painted on the street light poles, utility boxes and trees in the Union West Park, Sexon added.

Officer Jason May conducted a field line-up for a witness to the tagging.  Four of the teens were positively identified.  Two of the 17-year-old juveniles were not recognized by the witness.

Three 18-year-olds were booked into the San Joaquin County Jail.

They were Sergio Meza and Tyler Landry of Manteca and Daniel Pineda of Lathrop. The juveniles were transported to the police department, cited for a curfew violation and released to their parents.  The one juvenile who was identified by the witness was cited into Co-Op for violations mirroring those of the older youths.

Meza and the others were charged with vandalism and conspiracy.  He had an added charge of possessing a switch blade knife, police reported.
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