Charging documents reveal possible gang affiliations in recent kidnapping case
When the third suspect in a kidnapping and assault case was arraigned Tuesday afternoon, the charging documents against him and other suspects were unsealed and made public. Within the pages, the victim says her alleged kidnappers have gang affiliations and may be involved in recent Anchorage homicides.
Serge Azede II, 24, turned himself in to police Monday and was arraigned in Anchorage Tuesday for a charge of kidnapping. Jean Vagao, 19, and William Burgess, 18, have already been arraigned on similar charges, including assault and sexual assault. All three are accused of kidnapping a 15-year-old girl on Aug. 14 and driving her out to the woods by Eklutna Lake, leaving her there with her hands and ankles bound with zip ties, charging documents state.
According to the court documents, the victim was able to cut the zip ties around her ankle with a rock and climb a hill back to Eklutna Lake Road, where a man found her and helped untie her. The man’s brother called 911. When police responded, she told them her ex-boyfriend, Burgess, had forced her friend at gunpoint out of a vehicle they were in and drove off with the victim still inside. When she reached for her phone to call police, she said Burgess hit her in the head with a gun.
They met up with Azede and Vagao, and Burgess forced her into another vehicle. She said Azede tied her hands with zip ties. At one point during the drive, she called Azede a “Slob,” which she described to police as a term used for the gang known as the Bloods, charging documents say.
“[The victim] said that made him mad because he is actually a Crip, and she said that is when he cut the right side of her neck with a black handled pocket knife,” Anchorage police Det. John Foraker wrote in his affidavit.
That isn’t the only time gang activity is mentioned in the court documents. The victim said Azede questioned her about members of the “Fight Squad,” Foraker said.
“[The victim] said she hangs out with people that these guys want to kill,” he wrote. “[She] said they were asking her to tell them where members of the “Fight Squad” lived, but she refused, because she didn’t want them to go after and kill her friends.”
In an interview with police, the victim said she was staying with Burgess at a home in Fairbanks a few weeks before the alleged kidnapping but left “to return to Anchorage because her friends were getting killed back in Anchorage,” Foraker wrote. The detective noted that she mentioned recent homicide victims Xeryus “Iggy” Tate, Chaduer Chuol and Elijah Zeller.
“[Azede] told her they were the ones who killed them, and that they were going to kill the rest of them too,” he said.
“[She] said they were going to keep killing members of the Fight Squad until there were no more left.”
The Fight Squad is not listed by the FBI as a known gang in Alaska, but at least one crime involving the alleged group has been reported to the Anchorage Police Department. APD has stated on multiple occasions that they do not believe the recent homicides in Anchorage are connected or related to gang activity.
“We have charged individuals with crimes that we can prove with evidence we’ve gathered,” APD spokeswoman Renee Oistad said in an email response to questions about possible gang connections in all the cases. “This investigation is still ongoing. Should we gather more evidence that supports criminal charges against others, we will bring forth charges at that time.”
Oistad explained the information given by the victim has yet to be proved, and could not say if the crimes are indeed connected. She said they do not have any gang-related information to release at this time.
KTVA 11’s Daniella Rivera and Shannon Riddle contributed to this report.
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