One Army Ranger, Sgt. Bill Foulk was stationed at Fort Lewis in 1989. As an investment, he bought a house in a neighborhood filled with gangs and drugs. However, he had a plan to deal with it.
During the late 80s and 1990s, gang violence was hitting an all-time high. The Tacoma neighborhood where Foulk owned a home had heavy activity, the most in Washington state.
Combating Drug Dealers
He suspected that one of the homes on his block was a crack house and wanted to push the dealers out of the neighborhood as fast as possible. He started by videotaping people who came to the home he thought were dealing drugs.
It turns out that Crips occupied the home and were using it to expand their drug territory. When the Associated Press interviewed him, he said they began to threaten him.
Foulk was concerned they would attack him in his home, so he invited friends from the 2nd Ranger Battalion to come over, just in case. He made the right call. The Rangers were there on September 23, 1989, when around 15-20 Crips members shot up the home.
One thing they were not expecting was armed occupants inside. The Rangers did not hesitate to return fire. The gun battle lasted between 10 to 30 minutes, with no injuries.
The police arrived, and most of the gang members fled, except for two who were arrested, and only one was charged. While the police took the Ranger’s guns, the Army deemed the incident self-defense.
“From everything I am told by the city police, the Rangers were right. They were having a party, and they were attacked.”Maj. Clyde Newman of the 2nd Ranger Battalion
The attack brought a national spotlight on gang issues in the state and empowered residents to do more in their own neighborhoods.