Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer is looking to legislatively fumigate the Watts Arms apartments for gangbangers. The city block-long complex standing 10130 South Beach St. has been a hub for the Grape Street Watts Crips, who allegedly use the property to sell a variety of drugs. Such activities are a concern due to the building’s close proximity to two schools, Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School and the 102nd Street Early Education Center; a medical facility for the elderly and a theater space. Feuer has filed a nuisance lawsuit against Watts Arms 1 Associates Joint Venture, the corporation that runs the complex, as well as the property’s manager, Integrity Management Co. and Real Property Services Corp, in response.
The civil abatement action calls for the eradication of all drug operations and the banning of the gang from the property. The suit states, “[The Grape Street Watts Crips] sell rock cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana on the property. They stash guns there as well, which they use to launch armed attacks on rival gangs.”
Furthermore, the Los Angeles Daily News reports:
The lawsuit also seeks physical and managerial improvements to the property including: an internet-connected video monitoring system; improved lighting; secure gating and fencing; improved tenant screening and lease enforcement procedures; and armed, licensed security guards.
Feuer said, “No one in Los Angeles should live in constant fear from gun violence and rampant crime, but that’s exactly what families in this neighborhood have endured. We intend to put a stop to it. Our residents deserve to be safe.”
The Grape Street Watts Crips are based out of the Jordan Downs projects in LA. The name derives from the Watts gang’s original name from the 1970’s, Watts Varrio Grape. Back then, the gang’s membership consisted of Blacks and Mexicans. In the 80’s, WVG split up when the Mexican members aligned themselves with the Surenos and took the name South Side Watts Varrio Grape Street. The Black members rallied under the name East Side Grape Street Watts Baby Loc Crips. Grape Street’s main rivals are the Bounty Hunter Bloods in the neighboring Nickerson Gardens projects. The gang reps by wearing purple in addition to the traditional blue of the Crips.