SALINAS, Calif - Police call it "bullying on steroids." They are referring to gang stalking, and it has nothing to do with the gangs you're probably thinking of.
According to local law enforcement, gang stalking is when multiple people organize to systematically stalk and harass a person, whether emotionally or physically.
Lawrence Guzzino claims his neighbors are gang stalking him because he plays loud music and is outspoken. He said, for the last year and a half, he's been systematically followed by a group of people. At one point, he said they climbed on his roof to bother him.
Guzzino said he's developed a paranoia that's devastated his relationships with friends, and worst of all, family.
"It makes me feel afraid...that's the worst part of it. If it was just me, I would take action," he said.
Santa Cruz Police Leiutenant Larry Richard said police are becomeing more aware of gang stalking because of cyber bullying.
Richard said gang stalking is nothing new, but new technology is making it more common.
"Gang stalkers themselves have elevated themselves to technology so this is something that's been going on before Facebook and Twitter. They just now have gone into those area," Lt. Richard said.
Guzzino said he's proof the problem isn't just online, and that it can hit close to home -- a home he plans on leaving because of gang stalking.
"I want to go to the tennis courts or play ping pong without people following us. It's just nerve wracking," Guzzino said.
Submitted by Candice Nguyen, Central Coast News
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