Breaking News

Kevin Dykes Beaten Up in East LA

Mr. and Mrs. Dykes (whose house was the neighborhood hang-out) were pillars of the neighborhood. They would take other neighborhood kids and me to Pop Warner tackle football practice every day. Mr. Dykes coached one of the Pee Wee football teams. The coaches from the Mighty Mites all the way to the Junior Bandits were awesome and demanding. They created championship teams year after year in each division. Mrs. Dykes was one of the Team moms for the Cheerleader Squads. The Cheerleader Squads moms were as good as the coaches and molded outstanding, in step, cheer squads (at all age levels). It was one incredible organization both on and off the field and one that had a profound impact on my life. This is where I began to learn more than just how to play quarterback, I learned leadership skills as well. I mentioned this so that you would know the strong connection, unity, and bond that we had for one another in our neighborhood, and the role Mr. and Mrs. Dykes played in our community.

Just when I thought violent situations were coming to an end for me, I was thrust into another horrible event. It was Sunday, and we were all gathered on the Dykes’ porch (neighborhood kids and young adults), telling jokes, talking,  bagging on one another. No “yo’ momma” jokes, of course, you could talk about the dads, but if you said something about the mommas, your ass was in a fight for sure.

Our joke telling was interrupted when a car came racing up, loaded with people. It screeched to a halt, then out pops the “twin sistas” from the Dykes family (who were mighty fine, by the way). They raced up crying and yelling, “Kevin has been beaten up, Kevin has been beaten up!”

Mr. and Mrs. Dykes came out to see what the yelling was all about. Learning that their son had been beaten up Mr. Dykes filled with anger. Seeing her son in the back seat of the car, Mrs. Dykes almost fainted. As we helped transfer Kevin’s bruised and battered body into the Dykes’ Cadillac, and upon seeing just how bad he had been beaten, we were ready to faint as well. It was bad. Rodney King plus, bad.

The moment Kevin was in the Cadillac, Mr. and Mrs. Dykes hopped in and raced him to the hospital. Leaving us alone to decide how to react.

Now that shit did NOT happen to one of us…especially not from outsiders. There were going to be some severe consequences because of what just took place. I just knew it. A posse was already being organized. Our neighborhood crew was going to settle the score, without a doubt. It was said—point blank, “We are going to kill those bastards, who did this Kevin! And whoever does not join us, will no longer be a part of this neighborhood or have our protection.” That last part went without saying. There was a code of honor in our neighborhood. If someone from another neighborhood did something to one of us, they did it to us ALL.

Within thirty minutes, there forty cars lined up in front of the Dykes’ home. There had to be at least one hundred and twenty people there, ready to go.

I could not believe how much firepower we had…everybody was packing at least two guns. I had gone to our family’s attic and grabbed my double barrel shotgun, my grandfather’s 45 Magnum, his German hunting knife, and five sticks of dynamite. (To this day I still can’t believe my grandfather had dynamite in the attic—he could have blown us to smithereens without us ever knowing what the hell had hit us.)

Before I knew it, we were on our way to East L.A. to make a statement and exact our revenge. Lamar Dykes (Kevin’s little brother) and I were crouched in the back seat, scared as shit. We looked at each other, and our eyes said it all … we were about to die in a gun battle defending our neighborhood’s honor.

After what seemed like an eternity—less than fifteen minutes—we arrived at the “Sistas” house, not too far from where Kevin got jumped. The car we were in flew in reverse down a long driveway to the back house where it screeched to a stop, and we popped out—guns loaded and ready. Our team leader escorted us into the back house, where Lamar and I were given instructions to watch the prisoner that they had tied up there and to blast anyone who tried to come in and did not use the password.

The password was “please.”

I remember thinking to myself, what a helluva password, “PLEASE.” However, it was smart too. Who in their right mind would say please in the midst of war?

Leave a Reply