Posts Tagged ‘state employee’
New York State employee lunch-walking gang tops New York State Police Gang Crime Task Force’s “Most Dangerous Street Gangs of 2008” list
(Albany, New York) New York State Police (“NYSP”) Superintendent Harry J. Corbitt announced Friday that the Albany-based state employee street gang “Walking on Wednesdays” has claimed the top spot on NYSP’s “Most Dangerous Street Gangs of 2008 list,” topping the former juggernaut Clinton Avenue Crack-a-lackin’ Crips and the much-feared El Mariachi Latin Kings of Swan Street. Established in 2005, Walking on Wednesdays (“WoW,” not to be confused with the now-defunct Wow! arcade in Schenectady) consists entirely of New York State government employees, a subspecies of human traditionally known for its predicable yet docile pack behavior. In just shy of four years, WoW has risen from obscurity to national notoriety after its near-complete, surreptitious takeover of the state employee lunchtime walking industry in Albany. According to the NYSP, WoW routinely walks lunchtime laps around the Empire State Plaza and its surrounding areas, patrolling its “turf” and intimidating other lunchers by hurling state government acronym/jargon-laced epithets and demanding that patrons of State Street’s Tex’s BBQ cart pay WoW a “walking tax.” Retired Office of Employee Relations employee Linda Krolak recently surrendered a $5 bill to WoW “soldier” William (“Wee-Bay”) Baylor so that she could purchase her pulled pork sandwich without incident. Hicks reportedly approached Krolak as she pulled out her wallet and offered her the choice either giving him $5 or “[f]inding a size-10 generic white walking sneaker up her [expletive].” “Oh my word, then he screamed that I ‘better pay my motha-[expletive]’in dues’ or I’d be ‘found floating face-down in the shallow, rancid, Hudson-River-water-filled Plaza reflecting pool,'” stammered Krolak, “I was just petrified because I had my precious little [white Maltese] Jasper with me, and he was already shaking from his morning doggie botox injection . . . I just gave the thug my change and shuffled briskly away.”
Eschewing traditional flashy gang colors and luxurious “bling” jewelry, the typical WoW member dons pleated khaki Dockers from J.C. Penney with a visible half-roll of NY Lotto scratch-off tickets “hangin’ out tha right side,” Wee Bay explains, because “yeaaaah, that’s the WoW side.” Additionally, a WoW member will sport non-brand-name white walking sneakers from DSW Warehouse (with a dress and stockings for female members) and a mid-90’s multi-colored nylon wind breaker from Marshall’s discount rack. This low-profile attire helps WoW members to assimilate into the state employee lunch crowd like a middle aged, slightly frumpy chameleon and avoid detection by State Police officers who have had the misfortune of having been assigned to the Empire State Plaza (hey, at least it’s not the Thruway). Only subtle hand signals, double W’s flashed from one power-walking WoW member to another, distinguish the gang members from the victims of their harassment.
WoW is considered among police as one of the most secretive street gangs in the nation, with only one documented breach of gang security. In April, 2005, freshly promoted WoW underboss Karen (“Cuz Killah”) Springer inadvertently emailed a recruitment flyer en masse to every employee on the Department of Health’s network. The flyer asked prospective members if they wanted to “Lose those holiday pounds!” and “help prevent type II diabetes” by “strutting their stuff with WoW during Wednesday lunch hours.” WoW didn’t realize its mistake until the following morning, when Springer signed into her email account to find six email responses sitting in her inbox; all six of the responses, however, consisted of some variation of “TAKE ME OFF THIS GOD DAMN LIST!!!!” Nor were authorities alerted in time; those emails that weren’t instantly directed to spam filters were either instantly deleted by recipients; the only surviving copies were those forwarded by recipients to their friends for the email’s unintentional comedic value. Moreover, police were still weeks away from acquiring court approval for a wire tap.
Police are optimistic that recent arrests of two mid-ranking WoW members combined with a recently approved state increase in manpower at the Empire State Plaza will turn the tide in the City’s four-year battle with the dangerous street gang. Using wire taps and confidential Office of General Services informants, police have even begun to learn about WoW’s illegal activities before they occur and act preemptively. Just last week, police picked up chatter on one of its wiretaps that WoW members were planning to “tag” the Egg, Albany’s iconic concrete, egg-shaped performing arts center (tagging is street slang for spray-painting public property, often with gang insignias as a way of marking gang territory). Police stationed two 24-hour patrol cars outside the Egg for several days; no tagging resulted. At least some high-ranking officials at the NYSP, however, have privately expressed skepticism that their heightened presence has had any actual effect, instead postulating that the references to “tagging the Egg” picked up on the wire instead referred to the initiation rites of new WoW member Stan “Biff” (the old version, from Back to the Future II) Haligan. According to those officials, WoW members often refer to the dimwitted Haligan as an “egghead” and WoW initiation rites involve the hanging of WoW-gang-colored state-issued ID tags around new members’ necks with a silver, aluminum lanyard- the kind used to attach pens to counters at banks. At press time, NYSP Superintendent Corbitt had not returned numerous phone calls for comment.