Potomac News Online | Four charged in gang attack

Four MS-13 gang members allegedly stabbed a member of a rival gang Wednesday night in the latest violent incident in the Irongate subdivision north of Manassas, Prince William County police said.

The victim, a 14-year-old member of the South Side Locos, was walking on Irongate Way near Community Drive around 7 p.m. when four teenagers, who are known members of Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, allegedly drove up and attacked him, said Detective Dennis Mangan, police spokesman.

Mangan did not know if the victim was wearing gang colors or if he did anything to provoke the attack.

Police arrested the four attackers, Saul Antonio Mendoza, 18, of 11212 Coles Drive in Lake Jackson; Pablo Enoc Maradiagra-Benitez, 19, of the same address; Dennys A. Vazquez-Hernandez, 18, of 10106 Copeland Drive in the Sudley area; and Mario A. Rodriguez, 19, of 6814 Ruskin St. in Springfield for aggravated malicious wounding and activity in a prohibited street gang.

All are held without bond pending a May 9 court date.

The victim was flown to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

The incident was the second gang related attack in that area in the last six months. A man was shot in August by MS-13 members in a Community Drive home, according to police reports.

On Jan. 28, a 14-year-old shot a 16-year-old in the face after an argument over compact discs and DVDs on Cannonball Drive in an incident that was not gang-related, police say.

There was also an incident Jan. 7 in neighboring Westgate where a man was arrested for shooting and killing another man during a robbery. That incident is not gang-related, police say.

SSL and MS-13 are two of the most violent gangs in the Washington, D.C., area, according to the Web site https://www.knowngangs .com.

MS-13 is based in El Salvador, where it originated, but has a strong presence in this area.

The gang has an extensive hierarchy and each local gang is divided into “cliques,” which are further divided into smaller groups, according to the Web site. Members can be as young as 12 years old.

Usually they have the number 13 or the word Sureno, a Spanish word meaning Southerner, tattooed on their body, according to the Web site.

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