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Anyone know anything about gangs?

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WhatsRight posted 11/4/2020 23:51 PM

My son has just texted me. He said:

ďFinally time I let u know what happened to some money u have given me in past I was in a gang when I was younger till about 21 and I got out and the basically said pay them a lot at once or I pay them 500 every week for protection of my own life and if I donít theyíd take my life so thatís why I often ask for money because of that and didnít wanna tell u what I got myself into now I owe them 5000$ at once or I pay them 500 a week so I wonít get hurt itís tiring and Iím just ready for it to be overĒ

I am very scared.

Is this real? I texted and told him I didnít have $5000 to give to a gang.

He said:

ď I was just letting u know I mean Iíve been unaffiliated with them just ainít want u to think I was spending it on dumb stuff wanted to be clean about everything want us to just be good with no secretsĒ. and ď Iím shit out of luck then guess Iíll keep doing whatver I got to to pay them 500 a weekĒ

Can someone give me some input? Does this happen?

Is he just trying to get $$$ out of me?

Jeaniegirl posted 11/5/2020 00:23 AM

Call a local police department and ask to speak with a detective. Tell them what your son told you and ask if they have had cases such as this. If it's real, it's extortion. Having said that, FIRST tell your son you intend to notify the police. His reaction should tell you if it's just a ploy to get money from you. That's a lot of money - so I think you would know if he's been paying that for a while?

WhatsRight posted 11/5/2020 00:44 AM

He has been stealing from me for a long time.

He has a record with the police and if he is just making it up to get money, I could get him in big trouble with the police.

But I donít know how to ignore it if he is really in danger.

Bigger posted 11/5/2020 03:47 AM

The same son that makes you think you need a safe because things were disappearing?

I donít know too much about gangs but what he describes could be plausible.
But is paying 500 per week realistic?
Is there any guarantee that a one-off payment of 5000 will be respected?

Itís not as if they have a legal contract that can be disputed in court. If this is true (and I do have my doubts) then paying 50, 500 or 5000 will only lead to another shake-down or else they threaten to kill him. If itís true.

I think your only real option is to talk to police. You should be able to do this without pressing any charges or with no expectation that they do anything. All you want is their opinion on the validity of his threat/extortion/predicament and if they have suggestions on how he can move out of this situation.
Donít know where you live but would he be leaving some high-paying career if he were to move from Atlanta to Memphis?

WhatsRight posted 11/5/2020 07:38 AM

Yes. Same son. He is 24. Doesnít even have a job.

He has a new baby.

I told him I doubted that he would have any indication it would stop if he paid them a lump sum. He said an agreement has been made and he knows they would stop.

I donít know what to believe. I certainly donít want to risk his safety or God forbid his life. And it would explain why he steals. And why I never see any indication of where the money goes. Not a ton of clothes or jewelry. Always totally broke.

But he also lies. Money has always been ďtoo important ď to him.

He is staying at my house Tuesday-Friday from now to November 16 due to his girlfriend saying he acted disrespectfully and they needed a break. She also said he had to see a counselor. I helped him locate a counselor that has experience with offenders. Not sure what that actually means, but my son has had trouble with the law, and has spent time in jail. A few months here and there.

Iím not sure if he will choose him, but maybe he would offer some advice.

I have a nephew who was a sheriff deputy for many years. I donít know if he could help.

I am in a total panic.

When I told my son I didnít have $5000 to give to a gang and there was no way to know if that would make them stop he said ď Iím shit out of luck then guess Iíll keep doing whatver I got to to pay them 500 a weekĒ.

I donít see any positive outcome.

- he gives them $5000 but that doesnít clear the slate.

- I give him the $$$ but the whole thing is a scam

- I dont give him the $$ and he has to steal or sell drugs to give them $500 per month

- I donít give him the money and they hurt him or kill him

- or I give the money and there never was a gang

I donít know what to do.

Usually when he hits me up for some money, and I say no, he keeps on and on and on trying to manipulate me out of it.

Last night he didnít. I donít even know what that means. I am so afraid.

WhatsRight posted 11/5/2020 07:58 AM

The reason I hesitate to talk to police is that I read a little online last night about getting out of gangs, and it never mentioned money. Only said it would be ďblood to get in and blood to get outĒ. Also, the biggest reason they donít want people to leave the gang is that they fear the one leaving will provide information about the gang to the police.

I have no idea if thatís true.

Once, my other 2 sons got into a bar fight. One son got his face beaten in really badly. When my son, whom this thread is about, saw his brothers face when we came back from the ER, he FREAKED.

I donít know if it was the level of damage or that it was his brother. Looking back, he didnít have the reaction I would have expected of someone in a gang. But maybe it was just because it was his brother.

My oldest son recently joined a ďmotorcycle clubĒ. Goes riding every now and then, and have charities they support.

I donít know why God gave me these boys. They have all 3 had issues regarding drug / alcohol abuses of their birth mothers during pregnancy. The son whom this thread is about was born addicted to crack. The other 2 have fetal alcohol syndrome to varying degrees. And they have all had issues regarding ďbelongingĒ.

I didnít do something right.

[This message edited by WhatsRight at 8:01 AM, November 5th (Thursday)]

WhatsRight posted 11/5/2020 08:31 AM

I donít know why God gave me these boys.

Just realized how this sounds.

Not that I donít want them or donít cherish them.

I was more alluding to the fact that I obviously havenít had the skills to deal with their issues.

DragnHeart posted 11/5/2020 08:36 AM

Theres no definitive way to find out if hes lying. But this is serious enough to be brought to the authorities attention.

Talk to your nephew. See what he says or just go straight to the police.

I dont know anything about gangs but if they are demanding money then it wont stop when he gets to the $5000 mark.

BraveSirRobin posted 11/5/2020 09:35 AM

I realize that the stakes are high here, and I could be wrong, but "Iím shit out of luck then guess Iíll keep doing whatver I got to to pay them 500 a weekĒ sounds like emotional blackmail to me, rather than genuine fear.

My H's sister has a background very like your son's.

WhatsRight posted 11/5/2020 09:50 AM

Yeah. To me also.

On the one hand it seems he could be setting me up for reasons to ask for money.

OTOH, I donít know how to play chicken with his life.

Iíve been searching online for help in getting out of a gang. All it is is affirmations about making the decision to leave the gang, having supportive people around you, etc. Nothing about $. Nothing about how to avoid harm. If my son is being truthful, he has already decided to leave and has already left.

I have to think. Iím actually afraid.

Afraid what it means if he is telling the truth.

And afraid what it means if he is not.

little turtle posted 11/5/2020 11:09 AM

Why not reach out to the local police who are have knowledge about the gangs in your area? Tell them what your son told you and ask what they think. Did you son give you any information about the gang?

He's been paying them $500/week for 3 years?!?

I remember reading about your sons that got into a bar fight. Was the fight gang related?

HellFire posted 11/5/2020 11:20 AM

I could get him in big trouble with the police.

Not unless you tell the police you want to press charges.

Lying to your mom to get money isn't a crime. Stealing money from your mom is a crime, but nothing happens unless mom presses charges on him.

WhatsRight posted 11/5/2020 11:22 AM

Not to my knowledge.

They were drinking. My oldest got into a fight, and I guess the other son jumped in. The one who jumped in to help is the one who got his face beaten in.

The one my youngest (that said he is paying for protection to the gang) was so horrified when he saw his brother. Immediately freaked out just to look at him. Said he wanted to know who did it. Etc.

I had to signal to him from behind the wheelchair for him not to show his reaction to his brother.

If you are in a gang, would the result of violence produce such a result?

Or maybe because it was his brother.

I know of no violence my son has been involved in. But I know he sold drugs for some time.

Oldest son says he thinks he still is. But he has been known to make up stuff against him.

The more I type, the more horrible I realize my family is. I tried so hard. How could all of this have happened?

Jeaniegirl posted 11/5/2020 11:22 AM

Whatsright, most every large city has a Gang Task force within the police department. You CAN speak to them and ask questions. Just be straight with them. Without giving too much info, police departments have ways to infiltrate the gangs and work from within to prevent violence. You are a taxpayer and have a right to speak with someone without reprisals to your son. In this case, knowledge is power.

[This message edited by Jeaniegirl at 11:23 AM, November 5th (Thursday)]

WhatsRight posted 11/5/2020 12:48 PM

I have spoken to a trusted friend I hadnít even thought of.

He is a police officer who has
known my sons for over 20 years. Was their coach for many years. Also, he has a son who has been in repeated trouble - now in jail.

He told me he is not aware of any of the type of gangs in our city that would kill him for leaving. He also said in 30 years of being a cop, he has never heard of (in our area) a gang wanting money for leaving the gang.

He suggested I speak with him face to face, and ask him questions about his gang...the name, colors, leaders, affiliations, etc. He mentioned one gang in a nearby larger city for me to listen for. It involved a number8!8. My heart sank, because that number is spray painted inside an old enclosed trailer we have. I know it was sprayed on the trailer at least 4-5 years ago. So thereís that. 2 o

He suggested it might be a gambling debt or maybe a drug debt. But he doubted his life would be threatened for $5000 debt if he was making his payments.

Itís like Iím in an alternate universe.

Jeaniegirl posted 11/5/2020 13:22 PM

Whatsright, my first thought when you posted that it's possibly a drug or gambling debt instead of extortion. Whomever he owes is pressing him, so he's pressing you for the money. He's using the 'they will kill me' story to get the money from you. If you just tell him you are going to talk to a detective about his life being in danger, he may come clean with you and tell you the truth. That's a LOT of money.

The1stWife posted 11/5/2020 21:06 PM

Heís stealing $500 worth of stuff a week? Hmmmmm

Selling drugs may be more like it to get that kind of $ each week.

He sounds like he may have an addiction to drugs or gambling and owes some people some serious $.

Iím sorry for you.

BraveSirRobin posted 11/5/2020 22:56 PM

The more I type, the more horrible I realize my family is. I tried so hard. How could all of this have happened?
Sadly, nurture can only do so much. This is true whether your kids are adopted or biological. Your situation is compounded by the poor choices of your children's bio mothers, but even parents who are lucky and devoted enough to be able to follow every prenatal guideline can't prevent everything that might go wrong in their kids' heads. It's much the same as infidelity in that respect. Ultimately, your adult children's actions are their own.

I'm in awe of everything you manage to cope with daily, and that's just the stuff you tell strangers on the internet. Try not to add self-blame to that burden. It won't help them, and it will only make you more vulnerable.

WhatsRight posted 11/6/2020 11:10 AM

Thank you so much for the timely responses in this super frightening situation.

I will never know if what he is saying is true. As someone said...much like the situation we all have in common on this site.

I think it is entirely possible that my son has a gambling issue / addiction...owes a lone shark, or even has some issue with selling drugs. Anything is possible.

But I also know that I canít ignore the chance that he is in danger.

We (H & I) have had a conversation with him. He has a close friend whose parents tragically died and he inherited a home and a good bit of money. (This much I know is true). He has agreed to put up 1/2 of the money. My son has $$$ ($1000) saved for a down payment for a car. So he is asking for $1500.

We have decided to LOAN him the money...to be repaid in a reasonable amount of time, and have written a ďcontractĒ with him. If he doesnít repay the money, if he says he needs more money, or if I have any evidence of him stealing or breaking the law, he understands that there will be no more $ from us.

I have been tormented by this. I have thought and prayed about nothing else until my head is sore.

I know many (most?) of you will disagree with me, but I am choosing to make this compromise with him... less money, and a loan not a gift. If I learn later that he has lied / manipulated me - lesson learned.

And if not, Iím hoping it will give him a fresh start, and most importantly, I will have done what I can for his safety.

The rest is up to him. I guess only time will tell if our decision is warranted. .

Thank you again for your support. And thanks for understanding that we sometimes make decisions that others think are not sound. But are understanding and supportive nonetheless. I hope you donít feel your time or input is wasted or not appreciated, even if I decide differently.

You guys mean the world to me.

[This message edited by WhatsRight at 11:11 AM, November 6th (Friday)]

Jeaniegirl posted 11/6/2020 14:20 PM

I would want to go along when he pays - or send another trusted person with him. Out of sight -- but see where he goes. I would make that a provision of loaning him the money. He is going to have to meet up with SOMEONE to give the money to. I'm thinking it's a gambling debt. Possibly the 'collectors' could seem like a GANG to him because they can be ruthless. Even those payday loan companies can be brutal.

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