South Bay News

SJ police prep for possible Cinco de Mayo problems

Saturday, May 05, 2012

San Jose police and businesses are bracing for Saturday night's Cinco de Mayo celebration. Police are hoping to prevent a repeat of last year's chaos and vandalism.

The Cinco de Mayo San Jose wants is a family festival where Mexican heritage and culture are celebrated.

They don't want a repeat of last year, when a mob in east San Jose, broke windows, vandalized property and even knocked an officer off his bike and stabbed a teenager.

Local officials know gang tension is high right now.

"We're going to have enough officers working if we had to we could also call for mutual aid," San Jose Police Ofc. Jose Garcia said.

The plan is to have even more officers out on horseback, on motorcycles and in cars. As for gang suppression, roughly 60 teenage gang members have been taken out of town on a retreat in hopes of minimizing any retaliatory attacks tonight.

And no parking or stopping will be allowed on Santa Clara Street.

"We have the highest population of Latinos and all those people coming to San Jose, they better behave good," community activist Aaron Resendez said.

Historically, Nortenos flock to San Jose from Gilroy and the Central Valley, a move that typically pushes locals away.

"Lots of gang fights, tons of cruising, you can't go anywhere, I usually stay in the house or leave town," San Jose resident Misty Rodriguez said.

"I usually don't go downtown for Cinco de Mayo in the evenings," San Jose resident Jessica Torres- said. "Because of some of the problems we've had in the past."

Business owners are also getting ready. The owners of Crescent Shopping Center will block access to the parking lot with cones, caution tape and ropes.

The festivities got off to an early start; police say 21 people were arrested Friday night.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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san jose, crime, holiday, gang violence, south bay news, lisa amin gulezian
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