July 24th, 2007 05:31 PM
Teen nearly has arm cut off in gang sword attack in Virginia Beach
By JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE, The Virginian-Pilot
© July 24, 2007 | Last updated 4:11 PM Jul. 24
A 15-year-old nearly had his arm hacked off with a sword by three men who police say were affiliated with an Asian gang.
The attack, which occurred last month when the teenager was visiting a friend in the 5100 block of Rugby Road, is believed to have been part of an initiation into another gang and also as revenge for an insult, according to a search warrant filed in Circuit Court this week.
Police today said they have taken two men believed to be affiliated with the Bahala Na Gang into custody on the felony charge of malicious wounding, and they expected a third suspect to turn himself in.
Arrested were: William K. Taylor Jr., 21, of the 2500 block of Harris Creek Court; and Jason R. Rodriguez, 20, of the 400 block of Troon Chase.
The Virginian-Pilot is withholding the victim's name because he is a minor.
The attack occurred on June 23, according to an affidavit for a search warrant filed by city Detective J.R. Cale.
Rene Ball, a police spokeswoman, said investigators were told an acquaintance of the victim made disparaging statements about Bahala Na Gang on Myspace.com, the online community. Several users claim affiliation with the gang in profiles and messages at the popular Web site.
Rodriguez learned that the teenager was at the friend's house, and he, Taylor and the third suspect confronted him there, Ball said. She said the trio attacked the teen, and Taylor used a sword to slice the teenager's arm and shoulder.
"He was cut all the way to the bone, and the bone was almost severed," Ball said today.
The victim did not initially realize how badly he was injured, Ball said. When he tried to get up, his arm collapsed.
Rodriguez was arrested on July 18 and told police the sword was used by Taylor as an entry into another gang, Cale wrote in the affidavit. The gang was not identified.
"This initiation required the severing of a limb from another person," Cale said in the affidavit. According to the detective's statement, Rodriguez said, "Taylor was still in possession of this sword ... and was holding onto it as a trophy."
Ball said Rodriguez turned himself in after learning police were looking for him. He was released on bond on July 20, according to the Virginia Beach sheriff's office.
Ball said police executed their search warrant and believe they recovered the sword used in the assault. Taylor is being held without bond, and is due back in Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court on Aug. 7, according to court records.
Rodriguez is due back in court on Aug. 2.
People from Manila to California have claimed affiliation with the Bahala Na Gang, or BNG, a street gang that has been linked to violence in other communities. Virginia Beach police today said they are investigating whether this local group has been involved in organized crime here.
Ball described the second gang, which Taylor allegedly was trying to join, as being an Asian gang as well.
"Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18
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July 24th, 2007 11:00 PM
Nice work guys. I lived about 20 miles from Virginia Beach only 9 months ago. Not a nice place despite its tourist facade. I thought most swords these days were for decorative use only. I wonder if they sharpened it and got lucky it didn't break, or if it was a real sword. Either way, I hope the kid gets to keep his arm. I would have thought that hacking someone with a sword would bring a charge called something other than "malicious wounding", even though it is a felony.
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