For years, members of an infamous Hartford gang ruled the streets of the capital city, but now their members said they are cleaning them up.
Members of the Los Solidos gang explained to Eyewitness News how they have served prison time and now want to serve the community.
Eyewitness News was initially contacted about trash and garage at the South Green Park at the corner of Park and Main streets in Hartford.
"A lot of us come here on our own, you know, try to keep the park clean," said Los Solidos gang member Trip.
The television station found a group of middle-aged men cleaning it up.
"I'm 50, you know what I'm saying," said Los Solidos gang member Drama.
According to Drama, he along with other members of the Los Solidos gang and the Latin Kings filled the streets of Hartford with violence throughout the early 90s. Hartford police often refer to this time as the "Gang Wars" in city's history.
"I did a lot of things in the community that people don't appreciate, you know, I was a bad guy," Drama said. "Yeah, I was a bad guy. I was going back and forth to jail."
The Hartford Task Force put many of the gang members in jail; however, several of them are back on the streets of Hartford and trying to avoid their old ways.
"We ain't trying to trade with drugs or be gangsters. We ain't trying to trade that," Drama said. "We all human beings. We all equal."
Several members of the Los Solidos gang live and grew up in the area of South Green Park. Many of them told Eyewitness News that often the members will pick up a piece of trash or garbage when they walk by.
"We got a whole bunch a guys here that they say, we took a lot from the community," Drama said. "It's about time to give back to the community what we have took."
The men said they are keeping out trouble.
"People ain't smoking crack in here. They ain't doing dope in here. They ain't doing nothing in here because we ain't allowing that," Drama said. "They gotta get a beat down. They gotta get a beat down."
However, Eyewitness News visited the park several times, but never saw anyone cleaning it up.
"It's not dirty, do you see it dirty," Torres said. "Do you see garbage around? No, because we always clean it."
In the 90s, gang members did good things for the community to keep people quiet and stay in their good graces.
To figure out if the gang is using that same tactic again, Eyewitness News talked to a retired Hartford detective, who was part of the gang task force in the 90s.
He told Eyewitness News while that is possible, he doubts it is some kind of sign of a Los Solidos resurgence.
Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.