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Monday, 22 March 2010

Asian gangs multiple counts in the violence outside Club Indigo

12:22 |

Thanh V. Do, 23, has been charged with second-degree intentional murder in the death of Eric Pou, the District Attorney's Office said. Pou, 25, died after being shot outside the Asian restaurant after a fight broke out inside during a private Christmas party.The prosecutors' office also said that Do has been charged with five counts of aggravated battery and aggravated assault. Those charges stem from the Dec. 19 fight outside Club Indigo, 126 N. Mosley, in Old Town. Two men, ages 23 and 24, suffered stab wounds in that incident. Another man was beaten. Charged with the same multiple counts in the violence outside Club Indigo are Jason Pou, 24, Cuong Pham, 19, Mark Pou, 27, and Michael Pham, 25, the District Attorney's Office said.
It is not clear whether the victim in the restaurant shooting — Eric Pou — and two of the suspects — Jason Pou and Mark Pou — are related.Authorities did not provide names or charges for the two other people who had been taken into custody earlier. In a news release, the Police Department said one is a 25-year-old man connected to the Dec. 27 restaurant homicide who had been taken into custody on a parole violation. The second person is a 28-year-old man taken into custody earlier this month on unrelated charges.Video surveillance footage helped solve the Club Indigo case, Stolz said. In general, video surveillance has become more common at businesses and residences, and investigators have become adept at using it as evidence, he said.
Landwehr credited detectives for doing good work reviewing video and conducting interviews.Police think some of those arrested also were possibly involved in two shooting deaths at a funeral wake outside a southeast Wichita home on Jan. 24, 2009. The shooting, in the 2900 block of East Dunham, near 31st South and Hillside, killed two bystanders: Keo Intavong, 66, and Jeff Chitanavong, 22. Eight other people were wounded when suspects fired from a passing vehicle.After the shooting, some members of the Laotian community postponed weddings and parties and stayed away from funerals, fearing they could become victims of further violence.Landwehr said Thursday that investigators suspect that some of those arrested this week also could be involved in the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Danny Dang in 2006 at the Mid-America All-Indian Center.Arrested and charged five documented members of Asian gangs this week in connection with a fatal shooting outside a restaurant and a violent fight outside a nightclub, it represented a key breakthrough, a police official said.For years, Wichita investigators have struggled to solve violent crimes in the Asian community partly because of that culture's distrust of police, Deputy Police Chief Tom Stolz said Thursday."And we're trying to break through that,'' he said. A key milestone occurred with the arrests this week of "a very violent group" from two Asian gangs involved in the restaurant shooting and the nightclub stabbing and beating, Stolz said. Both incidents occurred in December."It's the first Asian homicide we've had solved" in quite some time, Stolz said of the shooting.In addition to those five defendants, two other people who had previously been arrested may be connected to the two December cases, police said.Police think some of the same suspects could have been involved in a double homicide in early 2009 at a funeral wake and a shooting death in 2006 outside a wedding reception at the Mid-America All-Indian Center. Police have said the wake shooting came in retaliation for the Indian Center shooting.In announcing the arrests Thursday, police Lt. Ken Landwehr said that some people provided vital information to authorities that helped solve the two recent cases and that those people's courage in coming forward could inspire others to help investigators.

Stolz described the defendants as a "very violent group."
"They're just so violent, that at some point we just have to get this group off the street, or we're going to keep having problems in this community,'' he said. People realized it was time help authorities, he said.

"I think people... they know they're so violent, and if they don't come forward, this is going to continue,'' Stolz said.

"At some point, people have to say, 'Enough is enough' ... and report what you know to police."The defendants are members of two Asian gangs that have been associated with each other but also have been at odds after the fatal shooting Dec. 27 outside Da Nang Restaurant, 1556 N. Broadway, Landwehr said.

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