Well, one day we were hanging and doing what Gang Members
do when not "conducting" business, downing "Forty's" [40
ounces of Old English 8 Ball beer] and smoking "BLUNTS"
[cigars which are cut, hollowed out, and filled with
Marijuana], when some of the crew decided to "Ride The
Boulevard" and "Chill" [cruising where gang members show
off their cars and hydraulics and, generally, show off]
when we were informed that their were some other gang
members "Disrespecting" our "Hood" or "Click".
We decided to ride to the Hood of the Gang that
disrespected our hood and "Cap" them [ a term meaning
murder or kill by gun fire].
Well, during the ride to Compton, I passed out from
being "Blazed Up" [well, this is obvious:stoned, drunk] and
when I awoke we were in the middle of a firefight on the
streets of Compton LA.
It took a few days for the Law to catch up with us. There
were witnesses whom identified us. I wound up charged with
4 felonies, including Murder in The First Degree...
Though charged with these offenses, and the fact that the
State had a witness to who was in the car, no other
evidence existed. With only circumstantial evidence, the
State offered a plea bargain and I received 5-10 years in
the Los Padrinos State Penitentiary.
When I arrived at Los Padrinos-- called "Hell's Hole" by
most inmates --I was tormented because of my looks. I had
long hair and did not look like a convict. After three days
of hell, a guy who went by the name of Bino befriended me.
A member of the Italian Mob, Bino was a BIG GUY who
informed me that if I let these guys, and one in
particular, get away with what they was doing, it would
only get worse. He recommended a way to teach the leader of
those harassing me a lesson.
And so, I hid behind the door in the chow hall and when the
tormenter came around the door to pull my hair, I laid him
out with the door and started kicking him until he did not
I had gained RESPECT and from there on I hung with Bino.
Though I was respected, the three and a half years that I
would eventually complete were pure terror. Unimaginable
acts perpetuated on the weaker species, nothing to do but
be locked down and look out four blurry windows wondering
what was going on in the "real world".
When I was released I was nineteen and a half. I was placed
on House Arrest in a half way house and wore a monitor on
I was in the half-way house for a week when I heard my
older brother was living with a man said to be MY FATHER in
Texas, I ripped the ankle monitor off and split for Texas!!!
By now the road I had traveled was coming full circle. I
was on my way once again in search of my Father Figure. The
journey had been one of pure survival. And, in fact, one I
may have participated in, but one that I was tired of
living. The very thought that I would possibly meet the man
who was my father was the greatest feeling I had in my
It was great when I got to Texas. Yes, there was a father
and he treated me like his own. He took care of me. Allowed
me to become a part of his life right then and there...
My dad's name was Oscar Reyna. In addition to working for
the Department of Immigration and Naturalization, he
dabbled in real estate and owned a business. My life for
the very first time seemed on the mend. Though all the time
I had spent on the streets, in homes and detention centers,
in gangs and in prison had toughed up my mind and actions,
I always has a soft spot, a bit of love, a care for those
who were or had suffered or were homeless.
In fact, the time I was shot in the face, and the time I
nearly had my arm cut off, were only the greater of the
violence that was began by my standing up for others. So, I
guess, I really wanted just a normal, as normal as my mind
could comprehend, life.. and with my father, I found it...
My dad bought me clothing, treated me as HIS OWN and showed
it. Soon I had a job with Miller Distributing, in fact, I
held the job for an entire year and a half and met a
wonderful girl named Toni. Soon I had a little boy named
Dakota and was living a life that I could only dream of
during all those cold nights when the gang members went
home and I lived in some rotting building...
In 1997, two weeks before thanks giving, I was at home when
he passed away at 54 years of age.
We had just finished eating pizza when he told me his chest
hurt and i thought it was heartburn. I asked him if he
wanted me to call 911, he said no. I asked him several
times after that but he still said no, but continued to
steadily worsen. Finally I had to physically lift him and
place him on the living room floor.
I simply could not take it any more so i called an
ambulance. When they finally showed up they started asking
me all kinds of questions i could not answer. I was frozen
like a statue...I was in the most terrible pain and horror
of my life. I had gotten to love this man. He had loved me,
cared for me, elicited all that was good in me...and now,
men stood in uniforms identifying all that was sickness and
hospitals...asking questions, attending to my father with
haste...and I was worried like I had never ever been so
They then told me they were taking him to the hospital and
not to follow to close. I ran out side and jumped in his
truck...running every red light until I arrived at the
Once in the hospital I sat in agony and worry for hours. I
did not pray to any God, I did not ask for anyone's help, I
was petrified. Yes, I had never asked anyone for anything
in my life. In fact this was why my brother was adopted and
I sent to homes that were little more than detention
centers full of society's lost. After all, even though my
older had "rescued" us, it was I at four years of age that
defended that three-year-old I knew as my brother. Yes, at
four years of age it was I who saw and knew and tried and
cried and wished. It was I who comforted my brother--who
was but one year in age less then I. And here I was finally
with love and laughter and the man responsible for this was
lying in a bed somewhere down some hallway fighting for HIS
When the doctors finally came out of the emergency area
they informed me that he had a coagulated vein to his heart
and they were trying to stabilize him. My dad had had a
massive heart attack and things were touch and go. I asked
the doctors if he was going to die they told me they did