HOUSTON - Members from three different gangs have been ordered to stay out of a southwest Houston neighborhood.
A judge ruled Tuesday that the 16 gang members must stay out of a nearly three-quarters of a mile area known as the "Brays Oaks Safety Zone," which includes an area between Ludington Drive and Willowbend.
In connection with the Brays Oaks management district, Harris County attorney Vince Ryan filed a lawsuit against the key members of the Crips, the Bloods and the Most Wanted to keep them out of the community.
"This is to create a safety zone, so that people can work, live and feel a lot safer," said Ryan.
According to the Harris County Attorney's Office, those gang members are a danger to families that live in the neighborhood. The community is lined with apartment buildings, homes, businesses and an elementary school.
In civil court Tuesday morning, Sgt. Clinton Ponder, who previously worked with the Houston Police Department's gang unit for 15 years, testified that these particular gang members are committing crimes ranging from drug distribution to murder.
Court documents revealed two convenient stores in the neighborhood have been the locations of homicides, including a man who was scheduled to testify in the triple club murder and shooting of a local rap artist in 2012.
Families in the community said something needed to be done about the violence.
"I worry sometimes that there might be some shooting or something like that," said Juanita Lopez, who lives in the area.
Parents in the neighborhood said they're hoping this ban will set precedence and help clean up the community.
If any of the 16 gang members are found in the safety zone, they could be arrested, and if found guilty, face up to a year in jail along with a $4,000 fine.
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