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Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Alleged 103 Street gang members Sostenes Alberto "Al" Dempsey, 21, and Hendrick Miguel Morales, 20, were held without bail

Sostenes Alberto "Al" Dempsey, 21, and Hendrick Miguel Morales, 20, were held without bail under a new state law aimed at getting tough on gang-related offenses. County Judge Steven Rogers agreed with the recommendations during first-appearance hearings Tuesday morning.Officials identified the men as members of the 103 Street gang.According to Marion County Sheriff's detectives, Ocala police Officer Matthew Sams was at a birthday party in the 8400 block of S.W. 101st on Saturday around 11:15 p.m. when Dempsey approached him.Dempsey reportedly placed his arm around the officer's shoulder in a friendly gesture and talked with him before going outside.
Sams was asked if he was a police officer and he told Dempsey yes, according to the report. Dempsey then grabbed the officer's left arm and asked what he knew about him. The officer told Dempsey that he knew his name and to let him go.
At that time, the report said, Morales punched the officer on the left side of his head and repeatedly struck him in the face. The officer said he managed to run to his vehicle, which was parked nearby, retrieve his firearm, place it in the back of his pants and call 911.A witness told detectives that he was standing by the officer when he heard Dempsey ask if Sams was a cop. When the officer said yes, Morales punched the officer and Dempsey joined the fray, according to the report.
Dempsey told detectives that he was confronted by the officer and that Sams hit him in the face with a gun. He said his tooth was cracked.Officials said no one could corroborate Dempsey's story.During an interview at the jail, Dempsey denied hitting the officer. Weeping, he said that, while at the party, one of his cousins told him an officer was investigating whether he was in a gang. Dempsey said he went to the officer and asked if he could talk with him.Dempsey said he asked the officer why he was saying he's in a gang.Dempsey said a crowd gathered, and the next thing he knew he was struck in the mouth by either the officer's gun or his hands."It happened so quickly," said Dempsey, adding that he didn't hit Sams.Dempsey said he doesn't know any gang members. As for the 103rd Street gang, Dempsey said he's not associated with it nor does he know its members. He said that every time something happens the authorities come looking for him."My name always gets mentioned. I used to live off 103rd, but I moved," Dempsey said.Dempsey said he has known Morales for six or seven years and that his friend is not affiliated with a gang.

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