Fatal Beating of Alleged Bronx Gang Leader Sparks Revenge Attacks, Cops Say
HIGHBRIDGE — A deadly brawl between rival gangs in a Bronx nightclub last month has triggered a wave of retaliatory attacks that cops are trying to contain, police sources said.
Besides posting cops in known gang hotspots, the local precincts are gathering intelligence on the streets and on social media to head off the next flare-up.
The bloody gang feud “has got tentacles reaching all over the place,” said the source. “We’re very concerned about what could come next.”
The August clash broke out about 3:30 a.m. at Tropicana/Bada Bing nightclub on 1060 Home St. and involved members of two Bronx crews, the Young Gunners, or YG, and Young Flybridge.
Several people were slashed in the melee and the alleged YG leader, Juther Perez, was beaten on the head with the glass base of a hookah pipe.
When the glass shattered, the attacker used the metal rod inside it to continue pounding Perez, leaving him drenched in blood with broken bones in his face, according to a criminal complaint.
Later, Perez, 28, went into a coma and died about a week after the attack, cops said.
Melvin Davis, 22, was arrested for the beating and charged with assault and resisting arrest, according to the Bronx District Attorney’s office, which could not immediately say whether the charges will be upgraded since Perez died. Davis is being held on $50,000 bail.
Since the fatal fight, there have been two related shootings, cops said.
In one instance, four YG members rode to Young Flybridge’s turf in Highbridge and got into a shootout near a police post, cops said. As police pursued the crew’s van, a gun was tossed out of the window.
Meanwhile, a separate Bronx gang called the OGs, who are longtime YG enemies, took the opportunity to taunt their rivals about their leader’s death — they even went so far as to urinate on the dead man’s memorial, then post photos of the desecration on Facebook, a police source said.
“The OGs have been rubbing salt in the wound through social media,” the source said.
Cops in the 44th Precinct, where the two revenge shootings erupted, are on high alert, said precinct commander Inspector Kevin Catalina.
In the past 28-day period, there have been eight shootings, including five that were gang-related, Catalina said.
Despite the recent outburst of violence, shootings are still down 30 percent in the precinct this year — putting the precinct on track to beat last year’s record-low shooting rate, Catalina said.
He attributes much of the decline to effective officer deployment and intelligence gathering.
“We know what occurred with every shooting in the precinct this year,” he said. “We have an exact story on every one of them.”
Officers have learned that Perez was “very close” with the Bronx-raised rapper French Montana — the rapper signed to Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Bad Boy Records, and the founder of Cocaine City Records — a police source said.
A public relations firm for Montana — who shouts out Mott Haven in a popular song — did not respond to a request for comment about Perez’s alleged gang ties.
Cops, who do not believe Montana was involved in any of the ongoing gang violence or was a member of any of the gangs, said they expected him to attend a memorial for Perez in Mott Haven Thursday evening.
After Perez died, French Montana offered his condolences online for Perez, who rapped as Jutha or Juu Hef.
“Rip @therealjuu_heff damnnnn these streets nasty !! Another good n***a gone..” Montana posted on Twitter.