“They are extremely dangerous people” says NCPD
Nassau County Police have arrested three purported MS-13 gang members in connection with two violent attacks and an attempted murder in Westbury.
According to Nassau County Police Chief Kevin Smith, New Cassel residents Jose Hernandez, 26, his brother Fidel Hernandez, 23, and New Cassel resident Miguel Urias Arguenta, 18, all said they were members of the violent street gang MS-13.
“All three have demonstrated that they are extremely dangerous people. That being said, they are off the streets at this time,” Smith said, adding that the police department and gang squad were committed to suppressing gang activity. “These detectives take it personally. They see firsthand what gang pressure means on the streets-fear, anxiety, danger, violence. The teams of detectives are highly motivated.”
According to police, on Jan. 15, a 19-year-old was walking on Kinkel Street in New Cassel when he was confronted and approached by the Hernandez brothers. Smith said the brothers engaged the victim in conversation and then Jose pulled out a machete and slashed the victim across the face, causing a deep laceration wound more than four inches from the temple to the ear that resulted in multiple stitches.
Another incident occurred on Sunday, April 30, at 12:15 a.m. Fidel displayed and swung a machete at another 19-year-old male victim, striking him on the stomach and causing an abrasion. When the victim attempted to defend himself, Jose took out a 9mm Springfield handgun and fired multiple shots in the direction of the victim. The brothers, along with Arguenta, who was also at the scene, then fled on foot.
Police arrested Fidel and Arguenta at Railroad and Magnolia Avenues in New Cassel on Tuesday, May 2, at 5 p.m., followed by Jose at Broadway and Sherman a few hours later.
Jose is charged with two counts of second-degree attempted murder, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and fourth-degree possession of a dangerous weapon. Fidel is charged with two counts of second-degree attempted murder and fourth-degree possession of a dangerous weapon. Arguenta is charged with second-degree attempted murder.
This is not the first time Fidel and Arguenta have been in trouble with the law. Fidel has previously been charged with trespassing, robbery, stalking and acting in a manner injurious to a child less than 17-years-old. Arguenta has been charged with burglary, criminal mischief, possession of burglary tools and obstructing governmental administration.
All three were born in El Salvador, Smith said. The Hernandez brothers were both undocumented and Arguenta entered the country as an undocumented minor.
Smith declined to go into detail as any potential relationship the defendants had with the victims, saying that investigations have been “hampered a bit by witness cooperation.” He encouraged anyone who may have had run-ins with the Hernandez brothers or Arguenta to contact the police.
“We encourage any one who has been victimized or afraid to come forward and contact the police. We’ll see if they are responsible for any other cases,” said Smith. “Not everyone’s cooperative. At times people are afraid. We have to work through that fear they have.”