Elysian Valley gang tensions flare into violence

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Much of the crime in Elysian Valley in recent months had been limited to random car break-ins and the occasional burglary. But a pair of recent shootings that left two people injured have residents worried.  Last Tuesday afternoon, a man riding a bike with his young son was shot twice near Marsh Street and Mellon Avenue on the north end of the neighborhood. About three weeks earlier in the southern tip of Elysian Valley, a 29-year-old man was shot while standing in front of his home. Both shootings are believed to be gang related and both victims have been reluctant to provide information to officers, said Lt. Steven Flores with the LAPD Northeast Division.  Last week’s “shooting may be related to internal issues with the Frogtown gang,” Flores said by email.

The victim in the March 15 shooting was riding his bike at about 5 p.m. when he became involved in argument with the occupants of a passing car. One of the passengers of the car, a white Toyota Camry, got out and fired at the victim, who was hit twice, Flores said. The man’s son, who some residents said is a four years old, was not injured during the shooting.

In the Feburary 23 shooting, the 29-year-old gang member was shoot at about noon near Blake Avenue and Barclay Street. “He survived but was uncooperative with investigating officers,” Flores said.


  1. That’s going to be a great neighborhood as soon as the police clear out the kind of people who shoot at each other in the street with kids around. I’d bet Lt. Flores knows who the ringleaders are…where’s the gang injunction?

  2. I lived in Elysian Valley for several years and always felt pretty safe. Most of the “violence” was limited to the LA River and took place mostly late at night. The neighborhood is filled with children playing in the streets and elderly people — who have lived there for years — taking their daily strolls. This spate of violence breaks my heart.

  3. What Frogtown gang? I have lived gere since 1997, and I have never seen a gang. I see “FTR” here and there, scribbled by monkeys with spray-paint cans, but never have I seen a gang.
    According to the LA Times crime page, Elysian Valley is one of the safest neighborhoods in the entire city.
    A great place to live and work.

  4. My best friend and his wife live on Marsh St. They’ve been the victims of two separate hate crimes where there home and cars were vandalized because someone thought they were white. Despite those incidents and this shooting last week, my friends feel safe there and love this beautiful community.

    FTR definitely exists, as do the Elysian Valley Boys (EVB), but there is no need for a gang injunction. Tons of kids hang out together in the neighborhood in groups of 3 or more, all those kids would be labeled cholos when not even 10% of them are. Last thing this beautiful neighborhood needs is LA’s biggest gang harassing people on a daily basis.

  5. I’m a lifelong resident of Elysian Valley. I remember when Frogtown Riverside was a real gang in the ’70’s and ’80’s. It was a wannabe gang that tried to emulate the Avenues, which is one of the oldest and meanest gangs in Los Angeles. The valley now is so multicultural and even increasingly gentrifying that even the thought of a gang-related shooting seems unreal. Elysian Valley is one of the safest neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Though there was the shooting at Blake and Barclay (on the southern edge of the valley, near me, the shooting on Marsh Ave. didn’t seem all that out of character because the northern end of the valley, from Blimp Street north to the 2 Fwy. was always poorer, rougher and more congested with apartment buildings (especially on Partridge and Marsh Avenues), where there’s more transiency and, often, greater concentration of kids who are prone to get into trouble. Most of Elysian Valley is made up of single-family homes, which is a rarity in Los Angeles. The police have had a longstanding good relationship with Elysian Valleyites. I hope this can be brought to stop these two shootings from escalating into empowering a real gang.

  6. Los angeles birth place of the modern gang phenom .
    We need to end them.

  7. @El Dandy: We own a few properties there and one was vandalized while we were renovating. The geniuses who broke in wrote a bunch of anti-white, pro “La Raza” graffiti (you know, “fuck whites”, etc.). Probably the same geniuses who targeted your friends.

  8. Ftr or frogtown has basically died out. I doubt they have something to do with this shootings. They were active in the 80’s but now their old veteranos. No gang in the area has a war with them. That proves they dont exist they hardly go tagging. Graffity could be their most violent crime. If anything you see every now and then is veteranos hangin out.

  9. @Moses, yup I remember hearing from LAPD about that incident while I was there with my friends while they filed the report. it looked like both properties were vandalized same day. Rumor was that one of my friends neighbors on the property saw who it was, a person from a home next door and that the person fled. Must be true because my friends were never targeted again.

  10. “Elysian Valley is one of the safest neighborhoods in Los Angeles.”

    That’s a true statement according to this list:


  11. The good news? The Elysian Valley community is working together to solve these crimes. Over 50 people showed up at a moment’s notice Wed. for a Neighborhood Watch meeting in the rain. The latest is that, in fact, the police are making real progress in tracking down who did this.

    In fact, EV has been one of the top 25 neighborhoods in LA (out of 203) in terms of violent crime last year. Old timers and new comers alike are committed to not letting our neighborhood be controlled by a very small number of individuals, most notably guys recently released from prison.

    Everywhere we see evidence of community resolve in the youth who are taking a more peaceful and creative route, in a growing Neighborhood Council, and in a spirit of cooperation among neighbors, in the healthful use of the river path by many of us. Its a beautiful thing.

    Please don’t lose heart neighbors! These shootings are very sad but we will, work together to stop the violence and increase the peace.

  12. Nice to hear about the neighborhood watch meeting. I was unaware of it: how do i find out about future meetings?

  13. Soon the Elysian Valley Riverside Neighborhood Council as well as the Neighborhood Watch group will be having their own websites for posting of events. Look for those developments within the next couple of months.

  14. Please don’t get me wrong people i hate gangs and all this bull**** that happens nowadays. I just wanted to let u guys now that he’s a bad person

  15. Well we are going to fight to the end this is our neighborhood and this has tos top I don’t want nor will sit down and do nothing. We have to report all ilegal activities or bad people to the police. Remember this is our home…………!!!!!. Don’t let it sink

  16. North East L.A.P.D needs to patrol our streets better and they have to stop protecting and serving them selves like their so-called gang unit did! You got that Lt. Flores.

  17. hi – i am in the neighborhood and want to find out about the neighborhood watch…thanks.

  18. Elysian Valley is a quiet a nice neighborhood, i never hear gunshots… i see the occasional frog town tagging but more of tvr and crazys i’m guessing there enemy’s…

  19. FTR is very real. Fresh paint of it along the river and on blake. Old members being released coming back to claim theres. Gangs dont go away unless you put an injuction on them. There will always be beef with other cliques in the hood. Glassell park, highland, cypress, 18th and the avenues…non stop. Unless you read grffitti, you wont notice. Unless you make a call and aware of whats going on around you and until the rest of the community gets involved and makes problems for these local terrorists they wont go away and the number of car breakins and burglary will simply stay. Dont be blind and think they are an old gang and not around. Naive. Cops cant do it alone unless the community steps up. It takes a community.Call them and bug them for anything, someone doesnt look like they belong, call.. Up to no good gangsters standing on the street, call. New graffitti, call. Take liscense plates, remember faces and descriptions and get involved.

  20. My family is considering the purchase of a house within Elysian Valley and I have heard and read many good things about the neighborhood and it’s residents. However, I’m slightly concerned about the recent implied hate crimes and gang activity. Would you consider Elysian Valley to be a safe area for myself and my children who are caucasion?

    I appreciate any feedback that you could provide..

  21. Hi all,
    I live just outside of Frog Town and have noticed very recently, June/July 2011, a large increase FT13 graffiti on signs and walls in the area. Have you seen this too? It’s pretty frightening to think that the MS 13 is in our neighborhood and I’m not sure what to do about it. I’ve seen unknown guys hanging around on the hills above Frog Town, at a place on Rosebud that must be a very good lookout for criminals to spot for police, etc. Does anyone here have any info on this gang?

    • A lot of LA gangs put “13” at the end of their gang name. It has to do with an affiliation to the prison gang, The Mexican Mafia. I wouldn’t worry about a correlation between Mara Salvatrucha and Frogtown based on the 13. It’s practically meaningless in this regard, considering hundreds of California gangs use the “13” moniker. MS13 and FT13 (frogtown 13) are two entirely different gangs. And, from reading the comments and the article, it sounds like these shootings are part of an internal feud within the FrogTown gang alone.

      What I can tell you about the Frogtown gang, and, I’ll admit, this is second hand information, is that they were one of the deeper gangs back in the 1980s “Colors” days. I believe their main rivals were Echo Park (who also uses the 13 moniker), and Tooneverville, whose territory is Atwater village and South Glendale, and, who use the 13 moniker as well. Like a lot of the deep gangs from that era, FrogTown just died out throughout the 1990s. There are talks of a comeback, but as is being discussed in these comments, it seems to be mostly with graffiti (which could be the work of one single kid, for all anyone knows), and these two recent shootings.

      People should certainly get involved and be on the lookout for suspicious activity. But time for the panic button? No. Elysian Valley is still relatively safe, in fact, very safe, for this part of LA. Injunctions have been effective in at least sweeping gangs out of neighborhoods and into other areas, but there are negative and perhaps unintended results, too. Giving the police a green light to profile citizens of a neighborhood means they’re going to do just that.

      Remember, law enforcement agencies, including the LAPD, are conservative institutions. Not necessarily in the open, but certainly amongst the ranks, and amongst the boots on the ground. They’re pro-life, anti-gay and anti-marijuana. They have little tolerance for anyone that isn’t a conservatively dressed, white male speaking proper English giving them any kind of back talk. So, some of you left leaning residents considering the gang injunction ‘easy button’ to make the ‘ghetto types’ disappear might want to consider your strange bedfellows. You could find yourself being harassed and intimidated by police at some point and it’s not pretty.

      I know people that have been unjustly harassed and threatened with arrest by police officers and it will ruin your day. These people have canceled plans, and I could only describe the way they felt as the same way you would feel if you got beat up in front of everyone at school. It’s a horrifying experience that leaves you shaken up, not unlike if you were accosted and threatened by an actual street gang, except in the case of police harassment it’s by people whose salaries you pay. I would consider the injunction solution as an emergency solution, if it’s obvious that gang violence is becoming prevalent and extreme measures need to be taken. I wouldn’t turn Elysian Valley into a police state just yet. The level of crime at this point could easily be solved through community activism and communication with local government.

      Just as a control, and to demonstrate I don’t have a complete political bias or an ax to grind with police, I do believe Glendale made the right decision with an injunction. Toonerville had a real presence there, and even had a serial killer amongst their ranks, Timothy McGee, who chose random victims for the pleasure of it, one of them being a man who was painting a portrait at the LA river. McGee just walked up behind him and blew his brains out. Guy never saw it coming.

  22. Frog Town (FTRiverside) was no joke back in the 70’s and 80’s. I remember them being at war with Echo Park (ExP) where I lived. Both gangs were right over the hill from eachother, and they were going at it. Of course, Frog Town was at war with Avenues and Cypress Park as well. These old gangs might seem dormant and are hibernating now, and not seem very active, but these are phases; those who contemplate moving into these neighborhoods should not
    be fooled

  23. Elysian Valley is a really great community. Much more so than any I’ve lived in before. Our street seems to look out for each other so much. We have a very diverse group of people living on the street and have not had any hate crime issues.

    FTR is very real. I’ve encountered members during the FrogTown Art Walk and although I didn’t feel any threat at the time, there was no question that these were dangerous men.

    Saying that, I feel quite safe and the families on our street let our children play together in the yards and again, we watch out for each other.

    As a community, you definitely need to be aware and not insulate yourself. Meet your neighbors. Pay attention to what goes on. Talk to the police. Make your neighborhood what you want it to be!

  24. http://evnw.wordpress.com/

    Elysian Valley Neighborhood Watch website for your reference

  25. hitman c frogtown murderers

    sabes que frogtown parkside is alive and just kicking it,waiting for some fools to pass bye and get rack up tu sabes aint nothing gonna change on my end I dont hide from anybody not even the hudus,you know me only the calender changes this rana will step up to the plate and get busy at any moment I always walk around the hood and patrol and the homies that know me I anit no joke its all ab out the 187 thing tu sabes ese…….later the one and only the hitman chico efe te ere parkside ano 2011 and por-vida ese

    • FTR is just little kids

      FTR Varrio is just a bunch of little kids with spray paint. They have no control of the neighborhood and never will. In 10 years they will all be dead, in prison, or working at some franchise restaurant that just gentrified into the hood.

    • Faketown…stop it…you lame’s haven’t been doing shit,and now you want to bang…funny!!! CRAZY’S….CYS! They love to hate us…make believers…get in line with the rest because were wanted by all!!!!

  26. Dear Mr. Hitman,
    You are a silly, nearly unintelligible, walking cliche.

  27. You can now find very effective DVR Video security Systems on Ebay for only a couple hundred bucks. One or two of these on each block would be the final blow to the few remaining night-crawlers. Conceal one of the cameras out front at head level for those nice clear head shots. It’s a nice neighborhood that is ready for full gentrification.


    • Another waste of life.
      Please leave, and take out a few others like you on the way.

    • Grahm Wellington

      Unlike your usual form of communication (spray paint) the Internet knows where you are dummy. It’s called an IP address. Keep spouting off and we’ll track you down.

  29. All these yuppies need to keep all the negativity to themselves. You get on the internet and leave smart alleck comments when the majority of you people walk by these hoodlums and look at the floor like cowards. Ill give props to someone who stands up for themselves . But all you brave souls getting on here crying about this and that and talking shit about these dudes get no respect. Cowards.

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