Hector of the Phantom Lords

Meet Hector, a member of the Latin Kings and Phantom Lords youth gangs in Williamsburg from the late 1950s and 1960. He lived at 379 South 5th Street.

Hector of the Phantom Lords

Hector of the Phantom Lords

On September 19, 1960, at around 7 p.m. Hector went to a neighborhood community center to hang out. After staying there for a bit, he got bored and decided to return home at 8:30 p.m. Out on the street he met a pal of his known as “Little Davie,” who asked Hector to accompany him to Lindsay Park where he wanted to talk to a group of Jesters (another gang from Williamsburg). According to Hector, “Little Davie” had once been a member of the Phantom Lords and wanted to let the Jesters know he was no longer in the gang. He wanted Hector to come along so he wouldn’t get “jumped” by the Jesters.

When they arrived at Lindsay Park at around 10:30 p.m., the situation went bad almost instantly bad. Just as Little Davie thought, there were some youth hanging out in the park. Most certainly they would have been Jesters. Suddenly, one of the boys pulled out a pistol and shot twice in the direction of Hector and Little Davie. Pandemonium reigned. One of the youth ran by Little Davie and Hector and told them to get out of there. Another youth ran by them and passed a .22 caliber revolver to Hector telling him to “defend yourself.” The revolver was loaded with five cartridges.

Hector and Little Davie took off running in different directions.

While this was happening, a patrolman of the 87th precinct who was on foot patrol in the area of Lindsay Park, heard the shots. He saw Hector running away with a gun in his hand and chased him down, catching him on Johnson Ave. While he was being chased, Hector threw the revolver over a fence into a vacant lot; it was later recovered by the patrolman.

Hector’s story sounded off, especially the part about another youth pressing a gun into his hands. It turns out that what actually happened was different than the story he told the police. Apparently, a youth in the park didn’t hand the gun over to him. What had actually happened was that Hector was holding the gun for Raymond Cintron, a boy he knew. That night he went to Lindsay Park to return the pistol to Raymond. But when he got to the park, a boy appeared several yards away from him and announced he was “Diablo of the Jesters,” and began firing.

The law did not look kindly upon possession of a dangerous weapon and Hector was sentenced to 3 years in an upstate prison. Perhaps it was for the best because Hector was very familiar with the gang atmosphere in Williamsburg, being a member of the Latin Kings and Phantom Lords for 2-3 years. He had joined the gang initially for revenge as another gang had hurt his brother. Hector was characterized as “sneaky, sly, and aggressive” and his run-in with the law in 1960 was not his first. In 1959 he was known to the Juvenile Aid Bureau for discharging firecrackers, but more seriously he was arrested for disorderly conduct for congregating for the purpose of a gang fight. This was also in 1959.

Hector was incarcerated in a correctional institution until August 22, 1962 when he was released on parole and sent back home at 379 South 5th Street to live with his parents.

His whereabouts today are unknown.