Imagine that you wander into a video rental place on a Saturday night, because for some ridiculous reason, you still haven’t joined Netflix. After making your selections, you get in line to check out, only to see that the woman working the counter is being threatened with her life, as her assailant knocks over displays and generally tears the place up.
This is what unsuspecting patrons witnessed at a Hollywood Video store in Commerce City, Colorado in April of 2008. However the real drama came into play when it was revealed what the altercation was about.
The person allegedly attacking the store employee was actually the father of the employee’s child, Joseph Manzanares. Manzanares and his teen-mother girlfriend were members of different gangs in Commerce City. Manzanares is purportedly a member of the “West Side Ballers” while his video store clerk girlfriend apparently had affiliations with the local Crips gang.
Though the couple belonged to different gangs, the altercation that occured in the video store was not about turf wars, snitching, or any of the usual things that members of different street gangs usually fight about. Manzanares was apparently angry with his girlfriend because they had differing perspectives on which gang their four-year-old child would be joining, after coming of age. How was this discovered? Manzanares’ girlfriend told the police when they questioned her about the incident.
After raising a commotion in the video store, Manzanares fled. Police were called, and later arrested Manzanares at his home. Commerce City Police Sergeant Joe Sandoval that “They have different ideas on how the baby should be raised. Basically, she said they cannot agree on which gang the baby would claim.”
The young father was charged with disorderly conduct, harassment, and domestic violence. A few days later he pleaded guilty to the disorderly conduct charge, and the other charges were dropped.
Following in their parents’ footsteps: The Baby Gangster Gallery