The owners and operators of a South Los Angeles duplex alleged to be a crime-infested gang stronghold are the targets of a lawsuit filed Wednesday by City Attorney Mike Feuer.
The property at 1331 E. 43rd St. is an alleged stronghold for the 38th Street and Vernon Hood Locos criminal street gangs, and has been the site of shootings, drug use and possession, gun possession and loud parties, according to Feuer.
“We allege that for too long, a toxic combination of gangs, guns and drugs has made the property a dangerous hazard in this neighborhood,” he said. “We’ll continue to hold property owners responsible for these unacceptable conditions as we take back our communities.”
The abatement lawsuit names Miguel A. Valencia and his mother, Senorina Lara, who have owned, operated and resided at the property since 2002, according to Feuer’s office.The duplex, which includes two structures on a single lot, is located within close proximity to three public schools: Ascot Elementary, Jefferson High School and Roberti Early Education Center, as well as two public parks and several churches, city prosecutors said.
“This action signals another key step in a safer, more prosperous South Los Angeles, and a major victory for a community that has suffered for far too long,” City Councilman Curren Price said. “Thanks to the incredible efforts and tough-on-crime leadership of City Attorney Mike Feuer, our children, families and senior citizens can have more peace of mind and greater opportunity to live happier, more productive lives.”
The lawsuit alleges the property has been the site of multiple shootings, including an incident in November when a gang member at the property fired at a passerby in broad daylight, and in August, when the property was hit by a hail of gunfire in the middle of the night.
The lawsuit also alleges the property has been the site of several gang-related late-night parties over the last two years which resulted in vehicles blocking the streets, illegally amplified music and illegal narcotics consumption.
The lawsuit seeks an injunction prohibiting gang and criminal activity on the property, comprehensive physical and managerial improvements, and a court order enjoining the defendants and their associates from permitting loud noise on the property.