Woman attacked, gang connection alleged
September 10, 2008
By DANIEL BLACKBURN and KAREN VELIE
A Paso Robles woman was sexually assaulted shortly after midnight Tuesday in her own front yard by three Hispanic men who shouted racially-charged slurs.
The woman, in her mid-20s, was attacked from behind as she parked in her driveway on Trigo Lane. She told authorities she was raped with an object, probably a sprinkler head. She said the men called her vile names and referred derogatorily to her race during the violent assault.
Investigators at the crime scene said “initiations” for membership in a local gang are currently underway, according to friends of the victim’s family.
But Paso Robles Police Lt. Tim Murphy declined comment, saying, “We are not releasing any information about the investigation due to the sensitive nature.”
Sometime before dawn Wednesday, street signs and structures were spray-painted with black-paint graffiti “NCU.” Murphy said he did not know whether the letters had any gang implications.
A report on KSBY-TV quoted Paso Robles police as saying two of the assailants were thin, the third heavy. Two wore dark hooded sweatshirts. They escaped in a dark Honda.
While a reporter waited to talk to Paso Robles police Wednesday evening, a resident entered the Public Safety Building’s lobby to complain to officers about gangs and the threat they pose.
“With regards to graffiti, they’re [the police] pretty good at cleaning it up,“ said Sarah Bradshaw, a Paso Robles resident who walked into the Paso Robles Police Department’s lobby to discuss the escalating gang violence with an officer.
“But in regards to preventing crime,” she added, “I don’t see a change. We are law-abiding citizens, and we feel threatened by these people. Basically, we feel like prisoners in our own town.”