The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s office has arrested three teens and three juveniles in connection with a gang related assault. Investigators say a 15-year-old boy was physically assaulted by members of the gang known as the “Rolling 60’s” who were trying to force him to join the gang.
Facing charges of lynching along with gang soliciting or recruiting are 18-year-old Michael Johnson, 17-year-old Justin Thigpen, 17-year-old Elizabeth Ann Weathers along with three juvenile boys. Any act of violence inflicted upon someone by two or more individuals constitutes a lynching.
Tony Ivey, spokesman for the Spartanburg Sheriff’s Office said in speaking further with the schools resource officers, those familiar with some of these students were surprised to hear about their gang.
They were kind of surprised to learn that they were part of a gang, or had formed up and called themselves a gang. And so, it’s our opinion that this is just basically just a group of neighborhood teenagers that had decided for whatever reason to call themselves this Rolling 60’s Gang.”
We’re of course going to keep an eye on them and now they certainly are on the radar for our Gang Unit there. And we’ll be keeping tabs on them from time to time, just like we do with the other gangs that we’ve been able to identify since we started our Gang Unit.
Ivey says the younger age of this group is disturbing. “Usually the typical criminal street gang is made up of different age groups of people. In the top or hierarchy of the gang you’ve got some older folks, usually in their mid to upper 20’s and then it goes down to kids as young as 12, 13, 14. Those are the new recruits. But to have the maybe oldest member of this group in this particular incidence is only 18 years old. ”
Ivey says these arrests should send a message to those who may be thinking about involvement in a gang during the summer months. “There’ll be kids that are out of school, some with a lot of time on their hands, and if they’re thinking about starting to become engaged in gang activity or starting a gang, maybe this will make them think twice,” says Ivey.