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BREAKING NEWS - Two charged with gang activity as police target group calling itself 'D-Boys'

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By Vince Luecke

TELL CITY - Two Perry County men alleged to be members of a small but organized gang of teens and young men are behind bars and face felony charges of criminal gang activity. Tell City police arrested them and two juveniles Friday night and Saturday morning after a Hawesville, Ky., teen was struck in the head during a fight at the John F. Kennedy Pool in Tell City.

Police said it wasn't the first case of violence blamed on the gang calling itself the D-Boys.

Jermie P. Coyle, 18, of 532 Knight St., Cannelton, and Gary E. Risse, 19, of 4321 Chestnut Grove Road, Tell City, are each charged with criminal gang activity, battery and disorderly conduct. Also arrested were two male juveniles, who were transported to the Southwest Youth Village in Vincennes. They face the same three charges in addition to counts of dealing in marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The weekend arrests reflect what Assistant Police Chief Greg Hendershot said will be a zero-tolerance policy on gang activity in the city.

"We're taking this incident and the reports of drug activity very seriously and we're going to investigate every piece of information and lead given to us," Hendershot said Monday. "If someone's involved in gang activity, we're going to be looking at them hard."

Police said the four men arrested over the weekend were members of the D-Boys, with the "D" standing for "drugs" or "dope," officers said. Several of them and others had pages posted on online communities calling themselves by the gang's name and flashing hand gestures common with gangs. Police made copies of the sites before many of them were removed, apparently by D-Boys members themselves, in the hours after the arrests.

Patrolman Roger Smith led the investigation after Hancock County, Ky., authorities reported Friday night that Zeke D. Mize, 19, of Hawesville, Ky., had been struck in the head during a fight at the pool. Mize was treated at Perry County Memorial Hospital for the wound, which Smith said was likely caused by a blunt-type object, not a knife. Another man, Nolan R. Tindle, also 19, of Hawesville, suffered cuts and scrapes but did not require medical treatment, Smith said.

Police learned later that night that Risse and Coyle, already known to police as members of the D-Boys, may have been involved in the battery. Risse turned himself in after learning police wanted him for questioning and Coyle was taken into custody by Cannelton officers and sheriff's deputies.

The two juveniles were arrested at a home in Tell City, Smith said.

Police investigated the beating of a rural St. Meinrad man last year and that incident was likely related to gang activity, Smith said. His investigation is ongoing and more arrests are possible. Patrolmen Phillip Flamion and Derrick Lawalin are also participating in the investigation, as are Hendershot and Detective Alan Malone.

Anyone with information on the D-Boys or related gang activity is asked to call the Tell City Police Department at 547-7068. The department's anonymous tip line can be reached at 547-9563.