Claim: The Dalton (Georgia) police have warned local stores to be on the alert for gang initiation abductions.
Example:[Collected via e-mail, May 2007]
Subject: Watch out
This was forwarded to me..keep a look out ladies!! And guys, watch out for the ladies!
I got a call from a friend last night after she had received a call from her co-worker. The co-worker's husband is a Pastor who does a lot of work with the Dalton Police Dept. He said that the Dalton Police have put local stores, specifically the Wal-Marts (including the one in Ft. Oglethorpe) on alert. They have received information regarding one of the many gangs that have be developing in the Dalton area, that there will be "initiation" soon. This initiation involves the abduction of a white female from a parking lot, her rape and death. Apparently, this information was learned during the investigation into the shoot of a high school senior several days ago.
Please pass this on to your wives, daughters, sisters, mothers, etc.
We need to all be more alert and watch out for each other.
Origins: Just like earlier rumors from 2005 that gang members were about to engage in alleged initiation rites involving the abduction and murder of shoppers from the premises of large retail chain stores such as Wal-Mart and Target (and the venerable urban legend about gang initiates killing drivers who flash their headlights at them), this May 2007 warning about "gang initiation" abductions at stores in Dalton, Georgia, has proved to be far more scare than substance.
A 31 May 2007 press release issued by the City of Dalton (Georgia) labels the above-quoted gang initiation warning a hoax:
Gang Initiation Email a Hoax
The police department is receiving calls from concerned citizens about an email that is circulating in reference to a gang initiation to kill a white female.
The law enforcement community has not received any information concerning this matter and this should be considered a hoax.
Nevertheless, everyone should always follow basic rules regarding personal safety at home and while traveling.
The Dalton Police Department also disclaimed the gang initiation rumor to the public:
Dalton Police need to dispell a rumor about an email hoax.
They call the number of people calling concerned about an email hoax overwhelming.
The email states a supposed gang initiation that quote " involves the abduction of a white female from a parking lot, her rape and death." Officer Chris McDonald says the email is false ... there is no such initiation.
McDonald: "It's a lot of time spent trying to put down these rumors of what's going to happen and you know it really hurts the investigators and us from doing our jobs effectively."
McDonald says if such a situation were to ever take place, the police would notify the public immediately.