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Thursday, 14 January 2010

Arles Arauze, a former member of the Bloods street gang, said in court Tuesday that “everybody knows” Young was behind the August 2008 gang shooting

Two Fort Wainwright soldiers in the same SUV as a man who positively identified Arron Young as the College Road shooter testified Wednesday that they could not make out anyone in Young’s SUV.Arles Arauze, a former member of the Bloods street gang, said in court Tuesday that “everybody knows” Young was behind the August 2008 gang shooting, and he immediately recognized Young as an acquaintance from high school.
Young, a 23-year-old member of the Crips who goes by the street name “Big Nasty,” has been in jail since soon after the shooting. He faces three counts of attempted murder and six counts of weapons misconduct.To date, he is the only person who has been charged in connection with the shooting, during which witnesses said one or possibly two people in a silver SUV fired multiple shots at a green Buick full of members or associates of the Bloods street gang as the vehicles raced down a 1 1/2 mile stretch of College Road.Arauze and Pvt. Ernest Perez Jr. were passengers in a green GMC Envoy driven by Sgt. Warren Jones at the time of the shooting.The men had just left Jones’ house, along with the men in the Buick, and were on their way to a hotel when gunfire broke out on College Road. Fairbanks police, investigating several other gang-related shootings leading up to the College Road incident, had ordered the men to leave Jones’ home after they confiscated two guns from the residence.Jones said that a white Ford Expedition had shot at him a few days prior near the intersection of Danby Road and the Johansen Expressway. The shooting was never reported to police.Perez told police Jones’ home was “flamed up” with a red bandana, a common sign of the Bloods. Flamed up is a gang term meaning to dress in or wear lots of red to identify yourself as a gang member.Jones testified he was friends with Bloods who were staying at his home, but that he was not a member of the gang. Perez testified that aside from him and Jones, the men they were with wore a lot of red clothing.“They had never openly said they were Bloods, but I’m not stupid,” Perez said. “They had to be affiliated with the Bloods.”Neither soldier said they saw exactly who was shooting out of the white SUV on College Road, or even knew Young prior to the shooting.However, Perez said that when they stopped for gas a few minutes before the shooting, Arauze saw a white SUV on College Road and identified it as “Big Nasty’s car.”Maj. Bill Coppernoll, a spokesman for U.S. Army Alaska, said Jones and Perez were briefly restricted to Fort Wainwright while Fairbanks police investigated the shooting.He described them as being “fully cooperative” with the investigation, and both men deployed to Iraq for a year with Fort Wainwright’s Stryker brigade. Army regulations prohibit membership in “extremist organizations,” including street gangs.


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