Monday, August 15, 2011

Bang! Bang!! You're Not In The Gang?

  
Was Mt. Read Blvd. Shooting
A Gang Initiation Gone Awry?

Over the weekend, I had a chance to catch up with a longtime acquaintance of mine. During a lengthy chat, I asked his thoughts about the man, Matthew Bray, who was shot twice and found collapsed on the Mt. Read Blvd. median one early morning last week. I was shocked when he told me that he knew one of the victim's family members who had shed some light on the motive for the shooting.

My friend says that family member claims that Bray was involved in a gang initiation, a motorcycle gang, to be precise. (When I asked, he could shed no light on whether it was actually a motorcycle gang, or a gang with a predilection for bikes.)  He stated that the victim had reached the part of the initiation where he was expected to shoot someone to earn his spot within the gang. Apparently, Bray had second thoughts about that task. Apparently, that did not sit well with Matthias Vella, the fellow accused of shooting Bray twice in the chest and landing him in guarded condition in the hospital.

I asked my friend if he believed this story. He said that while he can't confirm it, he had no reason to doubt it either. In my mind, it explains why the public wasn't told why Bray was shot: it's just too alarming to let the Greece community know what's happening on our doorstep. After all, not long ago we were once one of "America's Safest Towns" ... until Nick Joseph crashed into that damned car on 390 early one morning and the fairy tale ended. Thanks, Nick! Without you, Rahn would still be our top cop ;)
  

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another example of how Greece is no longer a suburban community - we are becoming more urban every day. Why isn't Gates experiencing the same problems - they probably are, but for whatever reasons - Greece is being "urbanized" at a faster rate.

Anonymous said...

If you aren't planning to join a gang then you are not at risk! Grudge shootings can happen anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Gates is experiencing the same problems and has been longer than Greece. (mid 80's) They are just covering up better.
There are many different initiation requirements for the motorcycle gangs in Rochester or any city. That story sounds plausible. We have The Outlaws and Hackers and Hell's Angels. Was shooting off 13 rounds into a playground just up the road on Lagrange and Ridgeway part of another initiation? Same gang? Neither case has been explained by the police. At least we have not heard the "no need for you to be worried, it was targetted at a certain individual" so we should really be worried.
Is that like hazing for the college fraternities except you have to kill or maim someone as opposed to causing death by self inflicted alcohol poisoning?

SCATS said...

To 10:20AM ~~ Really? How do you know that? If you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, maybe you get hit by a stray bullet. Or maybe they don't like leaving witnesses, so BANG! BANG!! you're dead too ;)

When the Chamber of Commerce comes out and uses these sorts of incidents as reasons to not fear living in Greece, I'll believe you.

SCATS said...

To 11:56AM ~~ On the morning that this fellow was found by the road, the police were saying there was NOTHING to worry about! Their story about really happaned & whose case it was to investigate changed multiple times that day. I think the reason why was they didn't want us to know ;)

Anonymous said...

10:20 Part of the gang ritual is to kill someone, not in the gang. That could be any innocent person. The more innocent the bigger impact and expression of loyalty to the gang. What if you were at the playground that was hit last week? Non members of gangs could be hit.
And gangs whether bike or just plain gangs have as their main activity (besides terrorizing the neighborhoods)making money in drugs and prostitution. When they rob you they usually are not polite about it. So if we are not in gangs we still could be hurt by the violence of gangs.
Breaking and entering for the purpose of stealing your electronic equipment and jewelry and money helps support your local gang. Do you really believe only gang members are at risk? They are probably at least risk after they become a gang member. Innocent bystanders and victims of muggings are everywhere in our county. There is nowhere to feel safe. But apparently you do. The rest of us will be on guard and stay inside after our own self-imposed curfews.
And recently our community was memorializing a boy who died at the hands of his dad who then killed himself. Just last week there were 2 incidents of men who were holding weapons and presenting a threat to their families and the neighborhood. Yes these were not gang members, but probably indicative of some mental condition. Or just reached the breaking point. Did that memorial address the issue of adult depression and the risk children and families are at because of people snapping? Not much we can do about that either.

Anonymous said...

Killing people to get into a gang is, for the most part, and Urban Legends. We'd have a whole lot more dead people around if it were true.

SCATS said...

To 6:58PM ~~ You have no idea what you are talking about. In a quick Googling of gang initiation rituals, I see activities that range from such specific acts of murder as killing a cop to less targeted acts like committing a drive-by shooting. Most lists include notation of "blood in, blood out" which means you must kill someone to get in and once you are a member, the only way out is through your own death.

Anonymous said...

6:58 Haven't you been reading the paper to see the many shootings in the city of Rochester. No explanation, no robbery, no motive, didn't know the person......

There are many already in the gangs. Only a few each year coming in as new recruits. They also travel to do the initiations. Sometimes the deaths look accidental, like being pushed off the road which could explain many one car crashes.

Anonymous said...

SCATS wrote: To 6:58PM ~~ You have no idea what you are talking about.
-------------
I'm not convinced that you do, either, SCATS. In most of those Googled articles you refer to, it states that the killing "might have been related to a gang initiation" (or similar wording, like "it's believed to be").

If you check the well-respected "snopes" website (www.snopes.com), and search for "gang initiation" you'll find more than twenty (20) well-researched cases of supposed "gang initiation killings." Guess how many of them turned out to be true? Yup, you guessed it. NOT ONE!

I fully expect that (1) you'll probably bad-mouth Snopes, and/or (2) you'll point us all towards ONE specific case where it truly was a "gang initiation killing."

Don't get me wrong... I'm not saying that gang-initiation killings never happen. I just think it's irresponsible to lead folks to believe it's more common than it actually is.

(Patiently awaiting your snarky "Here's why you are wrong" rebuttal.) <grin.

SCATS said...

To 12:27PM ~~ How do you know which articles I read, since I didn't provide any links? Here's one that lists the things I stated:

http://people.missouristate.edu/michaelcarlie/what_i_learned_about/gangs/join_a_gang.htm

Here's another: http://www.gangsorus.com/initiations.html

Guess what? Those are the first two hits listed in my Google search! Guess what else? Your SNOPES.com crapple only comes up in listings for specific acts like "flashing headlights" on a car and those situations are largely circulated via email forwards of "warnings". That's primarily what SNOPES does: they deal with urban legends distributed by email, not shooting victims left on the side of the road.

If you want to stay in your safe little bubble of denial about what's behind a growing number of crimes in the Rochester area, that's fine. But don't tell me or anyone else that it shouldn't be of concern. In this case, a family member of the victim says it was gang-related. I believe that.

PS ~~ You might want to visit the "break room" at Greece PD's second precinct & take a look at their posters on identifying gangs and gang-related activities. I'm pretty sure they are there to provide a learning tool for our cops, and not for interior design purposes ;)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for proving me right on both my predictions, SCATS.

Signed, 12:27

SCATS said...

To 3:17PM ~~ I didn't "point you towards ONE specific case where it truly was a "gang initiation killing."

And as far as SNOPES.com goes, I said it only comes up in specific cases, not in general discussion. It's not my fault you use an unrelable source as your Bible.

Upon further investigation of the reliabilty of SNOPES.com, I turned up this insight:
"For the past few years www.snopes.com has positioned itself, or others have labeled it as the ‘tell-all, final word’ on any comment, claim and e-mail. But for several years people tried to find out who exactly was behind snopes.com.

Only recently did Wikipedia get to the bottom of it -kinda makes you wonder what they were hiding. Well, finally we know. It is run by a husband and wife team – that’s right, no big office of investigators and researchers, no team of lawyers. It’s just a mom-and-pop operation that began as a hobby. David and Barbara Mikkelson in the San Fernando Valley of California started the website about 13 years ago – and they have no formal background or experience in investigative research. After a few years it gained popularity believing it to be unbiased and neutral, but over the past couple of years people started asking questions who was behind it and did they have a selfish motivation? The reason for the questions – or skepticism’s is a result of snopes.com claiming to have the bottom line facts to certain questions or issues, when in fact, they have been proven wrong. Also, there were criticisms the Mikkelsons were not really investigating and getting to the ‘true’ bottom of various issues ..."


To read more go to: http://www.metroedit.com/2009/05/how-accurate-is-snopescom/

Anonymous said...

SCATS, I notice that you did not post MY last comment (yesterday). Why not? Do you insist on getting in the last word, then shutting down the discussion?

(Hmmm, I doubt THIS comment will make it, either!)

Signed 12:27

Anonymous said...

Conversely, you could check out this...which is not written by "The Frog Prince," as is the Metroedit piece.

http://www.rd.com/home/rumor-detectives-true-story-or-online-hoax/

Anonymous said...

Oh, and what were you doing in the 2nd precinct break room?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jim!

SCATS said...

To 3:39PM ~~ What was YOUR last comment? I posted all comments received on this thread. I just checked the BLOGGER's SPAM file to make sure.

To 5:53PM ~~ This issue is whether or not SNOPES.com has addressed gang killings in a general sense. They have NOT. They've addressed in terms of very specific activities, like the flashing headlights story. Regardless, they have made several rather big blunders recently. They aren't the be all, end all ;)

To 5:57PM ~~ Wouldn't you like to know? :D

To 5:58PM ~~ Who is Jim?

Anonymous said...

So you're saying that Barack Obama's birth certificate is fake? That was Frog Prince's "proof" Snopes was bogus.

This is the underpinning of that article.

"When I saw that Snopes had falsely claimed that Obama’s Birth Certificate had been properly validated, I realized something was wrong with either their research and/or their credibility. It seems something is seriously wrong with both."

SCATS said...

To 8:58PM ~~ You are so far out in left field I feel the need to remind you of the actual issue: Statement #1 ~ "Killing people to get into a gang is, for the most part, and Urban Legends. 8/15/2011 6:58 PM" followed by Statement #2 ~ "If you check the well-respected "snopes" website (www.snopes.com), and search for "gang initiation" you'll find more than twenty (20) well-researched cases of supposed "gang initiation killings. 8/16/2011 12:27 PM"

So far, no one has shown the first statement to be true, or cited any specific link on snopes.com to support the contention stated in the second statement. Your attempted diversion tactics don't work here ;)

Anonymous said...

It wasn't me this time, SCATS.

Signed, 12:27

SCATS said...

To 11:08AM ~~ It doesn't matter. As usual, when I try to refocus from the diversions back to the REAL ISSUE, crickets chirping are all I get in response.