Comment: Taking the Fight on Crime from the Streets to the Courts: Texas's Use of Civil Injunctions to Curb Gang Activity* Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2008 Texas Tech University School of Law
Texas Tech Law Review

Comment: Taking the Fight on Crime from the Streets to the Courts: Texas's Use of Civil Injunctions to Curb Gang Activity*

* Selected as the Outstanding Book Four Student Article by the Volume 40 Board of Editors. The Outstanding Book Four Student Article Award, made possible by Kelly, Hart & Hallman, P.C., was presented to the author, James Leito.

Summer, 2008

Texas Tech Law Review

40 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 1039


James Leito*


I. The Shot That Started the Gang Injunction War

"To Mr. and Mrs. Trevino, I would like to apologize for my actions . . . . I know there's nothing I can do or say to bring your son back." 1 Richard Carabajal uttered those words to the parents of Gilbert Trevino as he pleaded guilty to shooting their son almost a year earlier. 2

On that fatal day, Trevino had been standing on the edge of a neighborhood driveway conversing with some friends when a blue Ford Mustang convertible pulled up alongside them. 3 The occupants of the Mustang exchanged words with Trevino and his friends before Carabajal fired several shots into the group from the passenger seat of the car. 4 One of the bullets from Carabajal's .25- caliber semiautomatic pistol struck Trevino in the head. 5 He died fifteen hours later. 6

At the time, the drive-by shooting represented the worst of many offenses afflicting the northwest San Antonio neighborhood, and its severity provided local law enforcement with a key indicator of the serious nature of gang activity in the area. 7 Ultimately, Trevino's death inspired the citizens of San Antonio to obtain a civil injunction prohibiting over thirty alleged gang members from engaging in a variety of legal and illegal activities. 8

For some of these citizens, such as Rosa Perez, the injunction was a "godsend." 9 Her community had been plagued by loitering, automobile theft, drug use, gunfire, and drive-by shootings. 10 Her ...
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