Police: 3 members of notorious Long Island gang charged with attempted murder

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Stacey Sager has details on the arrests of 3 reputed gang members.

Police in Nassau County have announced the arrests of three members of the notorious MS-13 gang on charges of attempted murder in Westbury.

The three undocumented immigrants from El Salvador, all described as "extremely dangerous" reputed members of the gang, were arrested in connection with two separate attacks on 19-year-old men in Westbury.

Police say they terrorized one of the victims because they didn't like the way he was laughing.

"He was on the street, he may be laughing about something and these two people confronted him," said Nassau County Chief of Department Kevin Smith. "I don't know about you people, I have been in situations where people have seen me make a face or smirk and thought that it was directed at them and it wasn't the case and I think it might have been the case in this instance."

Two of the suspects, who are brothers, were linked to both a machete attack on Sunday at 12:15 a.m. and a separate slashing on January 15.

In the Jan 15 attack, a 19-year-old victim was confronted by the brothers, 26-year-old Jose Hernandez and 23-year-old Fidel Hernandez, authorities say.

Jose, armed with a large machete, allegedly slashed the victim across the face, leaving him with a more than four inch laceration -- "a significant deep wound requiring multiple stitches."

In the second incident, authorities say Fidel swung the machete, striking a 19-year-old victim in the stomach, causing an abrasion.

Jose, armed with a handgun, then fired four shots at the victim, according to police. The Hernandez brothers fled that attack on foot with 18-year-old Miguel Urias Arguenta.

All three men were apprehended Tuesday in Westbury. Fidel and Arguenta were arrested at Railroad and Magnolia Avenues, while Jose was arrested at Broadway and Sherman Street a few hours later.

Here are their arrest photos:

Left to right: Fidel Hernandez, Jose Hernandez, Miguel Urias Arguenta

One Westbury resident and her husband, who would only give their first names, Barbara and Peter, told us they had no idea that the violence on their quiet street in the wee hours of Sunday morning had anything to do with gangs.

But when bullets started flying they called 9-1-1 and police say because of it, the three gang members are now behind bars.

"I think at times people are afraid, and we have to sometimes work through that, that fear that they have," said Smith.

"I was glad I called the cops. First I was hesitant, then I said, that doesn't sound like no firecrackers," said Barbara.

Police would not say if this was an attempted gang initiation or a completely random attack, but only this about the suspects: "All three of them have demonstrated that they are extremely dangerous people," Smith said.

Police asked for the public's help in identifying other possible crimes the three had committed.

Nassau police would only identify the victims as two 19-year-olds who live in the area.

The gang is also blamed for the recent deaths of four people in Central Islip, and is so violent that both state and federal officials are now involved, including U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions, who was in Suffolk County last week.

"I really don't like it, I really don't wanna get involved with it, but it's gotta stop," said Peter.
Related Topics:
gang violencelong island newsattempted murderwestbury
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