Dudley man says gangs are a threat
By Jack Stephens
Published in News on September 19, 2005 1:56 PM
At least one Wayne County resident disputes comments from law-enforcement leaders that gangs here are nothing more than "wannabes."
Billy Pounds says he is moving from a Dudley-area mobile home park because his family has been threatened by young gang members. Pounds says the members have threatened to blow up his rental home, kill his wife and assault his son and have cut the gas lines on his motorcycles.
Pounds says the trouble started when his 18-year-old son refused to join the neighborhood gang in August. Pounds says the threats were the gang's way of retaliating.
"They tried to hit him in the head with big pieces of concrete," the father said. "They put him in fear of his life."
When Pounds moved to the park less than two months ago, he said the landlord had told him that there was a gang there.
"He acted like it was nothing," Pounds said, "but I found out that they have done a lot of stuff."
As a result of the threats, Pounds says he is moving his family elsewhere in the county.
Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders and Goldsboro Police Chief Tim Bell said in an earlier news story that the county had no gangs organized along the lines of New York City's Bloods and Crips. Both officials agreed, however, that neighboring counties had more serious problems.
In the meantime, Pounds and his wife have taken out 19 juvenile petitions against the members of the gang known as the Pleasant Acres Bloods and are waiting for the defendants to be tried in juvenile court. He said filing charges was not easy because he needed not only their names but also their addresses and birth dates.
Pounds also has charged the parents with trespass and communicating threats after they showed up at his home.
"The first time I met these kids, one came inside with a .32 semi-automatic pistol," Pounds said. "I try to treat them with respect. If you respect me, I'll respect you."
Pounds reported the problems to sheriff's deputies and said one officer told him to do what it took to protect his family and his property.
Pounds does talk to gang members and says they can turn their lives around if they use common sense and knowledge.
"I'm not an ordinary guy," said Pounds, who has long hair, a stringy beard and tattooed arms.
Pounds has lived five years in Wayne County since moving from Virginia, but he had lived here previously. He has not worked since suffering a broken back on the job. He says he once had two tattoo parlors and hopes to open another soon.
Pounds and his wife, Mary, a security guard at two county buildings and a night club in Smithfield, also have a daughter, 15 and a younger son, 16.
"I play Mr. Mom right now," he said. "I get the kids to school and make sure supper is cooked."
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