It's a week Chico Police Department Lieutenant Linda Dye describes as busy for the Chico PD Gang Task Force. "We've seen two incidents, two nights in a row involving gang violence. One a shooting, the other an assault with a vehicle where they tried to run over two gang members." And now Lieutenant Dye says the two crimes may be related. "The victim on Tuesday night was a Norteno gang member, and the victim on Wednesday night was a Soreno gang member."
Witnesses from the attack and hit and run from Wednesday night agree, and were willing to speak with Action News anonymously. "I look over the fence, and four hispanic males jump out of the car, three or four, and they all have bats, and they're screaming Norteno with a bunch of obscenities."
At that moment the two men the alleged gang members were targeting started to run away, and witnesses say things escalated quickly. "They said let's go hit those guys, and they tear down the street, and there's two guys, and they try to avoid the car, and the car just barrels into one of them, and he goes flying."
The other man picked up a large stick and started to hit the car. The attackers then fled through one residents yard, taking out two tree's, and a mail box before clipping the back end of a mini-van. "All of the neighbors saw the individuals, and the car, and the car actually dropped it's license plate right in the front yard, and the cops thought that was convenient."
Lt. Dye couldn't comment on the active investigation, but did say they made contact with the victims later that evening as they were seeking medical attention for minor injuries. "Without the victim's cooperation it does make things difficult for us to work the case, but we are still working both cases because they could have both been potential homicides."
But even though the victims didn't cooperate, residents who witnessed say they'll do their part. "Everyone in this whole neighborhood knows the faces in the car, knows what the car looks like, and those two guys. So, if they do come back somebody is going to report them right away."