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Young Fresno woman facing gang charges after viral video

Last week, a Fresno woman was arrested and charged with several offenses including gang enhancements after being accused of being the lead suspect in a gang-related incident in the city early last month.

Police say the alleged gang incident involved the female suspect beating another woman and then forcing her to strip. The entire incident was allegedly recorded and posted on Facebook, police said. Officials said it drew their attention when the video went viral. 

Fresno police suspected that the video was gang-related because people who were filmed watching the assault were heard barking, which has been associated as an intimidation method of the Bulldog gang.

The lead suspected was arrested after police received a tip on her whereabouts. The lead suspect and a male suspect are accused of attempting to flee police, but they were eventually arrested without incident.

Although news stories did not report on the lead suspect's age, she appears very young in her booking photo. Under the Gang Violence and Juvenile Crime Prevention Act of 1998, prosecutors are allowed to file adult charges against children as young as 14 when gang activity is suspected.

That means the young woman could face serious punishment for her actions, if convicted.

Another thing that young people need to keep in mind these days is that cameras are almost always rolling -- whether they are surveillance cameras or cellphone cameras -- and the recordings can be a prosecutor's dream.

For these reasons, it's essential for young people to have effective defense lawyers on their side to protect their futures.

Source: The Fresno Bee, "Fresno woman arrested in stripping assault that became a Facebook video," Nadia Pearl, Sept. 24, 2014

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