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Three arrested for threatening a witness

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Posted: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:53 am, Wed Feb 8, 2012.

Three Sureño gang members were arrested Tuesday after they allegedly threatened a witness to not notify police of a confrontation they had with Norteño gang members.

At approximately 3 p.m., the Special Investigation Unit of the Lodi Police Department was called out to the area of Locust and Washington streets after they received a call that a small group of gang members was in the area and that one possibly had a gun, according to Det. Larry Fluty.

Fluty said that once detectives arrived on scene, a witness pointed out the three gang members — 22-year-old Jose Ortiz, 20-year-old Enrique Tapia and 19-year-old Luis Torres.

The three men, all affiliated with the Sureño gang, were detained, Fluty added.

Detectives were able to determine that the three men had gotten into a verbal confrontation with a group of Norteño gang members near Hale Park, but the Norteños had left in a car.

At one point, the confrontation began to draw people out of their homes, and one of the Sureño gang members even told a witness that he would be shot if he was on the phone with police, Fluty said.

Ortiz, Tapia and Torres were arrested and face charges of terrorist threats, attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime, participating in a crime involving a street gang and promoting a crime involving a street gang.

Contact reporter Katie Nelson at katien@lodinews.com.

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