Archive for Thursday, March 9, 2006

Johnson County Sheriff’s Office looks to quell youthful tensions

March 9, 2006

Officials with the Johnson County Sheriff's Office want the young men of De Soto to know they're watching.

Sheriff's office spokesman Tom Erickson said the office was concerned about recent friction between groups of Hispanic and white young men in De Soto. On a couple of occasions the office has heard of one group or the other gathering in numbers of up to 20 with questionable intentions.

Nothing came of those gatherings of high schoolers and young adult men, and the sheriff's office is determined to stop it there, Erickson said.

"We just want them to know we're watching for this, and it's not going to be tolerated," he said. "I really don't think it's generally a race thing. I think it's one person doesn't like another person and he recruits his buddies and they all happen to be Hispanic or white."

On one occasion, the sheriff's office received a call of a large gathering of young men, Erickson said. The group scattered before deputies got to the scene but later regrouped, he said.

The sheriff's office also broke up a group of about 20 young men about a week ago, Erickson said.

"We explained that was not acceptable," he said.

The sheriff's office has stepped up the number of patrols in De Soto at peak time to put a stop to the activity, Erickson said. It is also asking local residents to report any activity.

"We want the public to know if they see this kind of thing to give us a call so we can stop something from happening," he said.

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