Two arrests have been made in connection with the rash of gang taggings in Harrisonburg. And these men will be the first to face new stiffer gang laws.
Nineteen-year-old Sergio Mateo of Harrisonburg and a juvenile have been arrested and charged with multiple misdemeanor counts of property damage. With the new laws, gang tagging charges will be slapped with a gang participation charge.
"They one, increase and enhance some penalties in regarding to some different gang laws were already had on the books," says Sergeant Chris Rush, with the special operations unit of the Harrisonburg Police Department.
Tagging is just a misdemeanor charge that carries up to a year in prison, but the gang participation charge carries a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years. He hopes this will curb Harrisonburg's gang problem.