Dominicans Don't Play

Dominicans Don't Play (143) is a Dominican-American street gang started in Manhattan, New York in 1990. They are known for primarily using machetes and knives as weapons. DDP is located across New York City, particularly in the Bronx, Harlem and the Lower East Side. They are also located in New Jersey, cities like Union City, North Bergen, Paterson, Passaic, Elizabeth, Jersey City and Perth Amboy. They are also located overseas in various countries.

Dominicans Don't Play
Founded1990; 32 years ago (1990)
Founding locationWashington Heights, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States
Years active1990–present
TerritoryNew York, New Jersey, Florida, Massachusetts
EthnicityDominican American
ActivitiesDrug trafficking, robbery, murder, assault[1]
Latin Kings[1]
Mexican gangs[1]


Recruiting efforts have been pursued via websites such as YouTube and Myspace[3] as well as in schools.[4] Members have to be at least in their teen years to become active members in the gang.[citation needed]

Yet they are very cautious with their recruitment. Unlike their rivals, not just anyone can join. The DDP and DTC move in silence and prefer to have the world think that they are broken up when they are organized better than what the public thinks.

Drug traffickingEdit

The gang holds a large share of the cocaine market[5] due to an association with the Colombian crime cartel,[5][6] and as such, many members of the group have been arrested for drug-related crimes.[7] Members have drawn the interest of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement,[8] and some have faced deportation hearings.[9] The DDP has also drawn the interest of the U.S. Marshals.[10]

Throughout the group's relatively short history as a gang they have been involved in numerous violent altercations in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Florida, Germany, London, Belgium, Dominican Republic, and Spain.[11]

Notable criminal actsEdit

Pelham and murderEdit

A scuffle between DDP and the Bloods[2] at Pelham Prep High School in the Bronx on March 11, 2005 resulted in the stabbing of two teenage boys.[12]

Coney Island arrestEdit

A contingent of 47 gang members who were allegedly planning to wreak havoc on the Coney Island Boardwalk were arrested. One gun and 30 machetes were found and confiscated.[13][failed verification]

February 20, 2007 murderEdit

On February 20, 2007 an 18-year-old boy was stabbed 21 times in Boston's Back Bay MBTA station by a gang of teenagers as part of their jumping in process. The man subsequently quit the gang, and the DDP code orders that past members must be killed.[citation needed]

Murder of Marviel MartinezEdit

On April 13, 2005, 15-year-old Alex Ramirez, a member of the DDP offshoot Bones, was charged with second-degree murder after witnesses said he slashed 16-year-old Marviel Martinez (rival gang member Trinitario) in the neck and then thrust the blade deep in the teen's back Tuesday morning at the Jerome Avenue IRT 183rd Street station.[14]

Murder of Mark TyrellEdit

A 16-year-old, Mark Tyrell, was stabbed in March 2007 outside of the Pizzeria in Union Square.[15] Mark Tyrell had gotten into a fight with members of the DDP which forced him to be transferred to Chelsea.[16]

December 2006 murderEdit

A brutal fight among almost 50 teenagers in Union Square left one teen dead and two others injured.[17][18] Police Commissioner Kelly said it was a "planned confrontation": Some Washington Irving High School female students were "insulted," so they enlisted their boyfriends at Science Skills High School to defend their honor.[19] Taishawn Bellevue, an aspiring basketball player, was killed during this altercation.[18][20][21]

Commissioner Kelly also suggested that the fight was gang-related, as some Washington Irving students are members of DDP - Dominicans Don't Play.[16] Other students who were based at Science Skills could not have been members of a gang.[16] According to an official who spoke to The New York Times, someone whistled to start the fight, and the girls' contingent from Science Skills had 15 people "with no plans for a confrontation and found themselves outnumbered."[19] Police reviewed surveillance footage from a nearby store that captured the fight. Around 50 teens involved used belts, pieces of wood, and bats during the altercation. 16-year-old Francisco Baez was charged with murder, gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon.[18] after two people picked him out of a line up.[22] He later confessed to the crime as a result of being identified.[23]

Other incidentsEdit

In 2004, several people associated with DDP were arrested in connection with the fatal stabbing of a River Edge, New Jersey man after the North Hudson Dominican Day Parade in August 2003. They have had an ongoing feud with other area gangs, including the sets affiliated with the United Blood Nation and the Trinitarios, a group comprised also of Dominican youths.[24] There was a recent arrest of three members of the DDP by the FBI.

On January 1, 2007 3 members of the gang DDP were arrested in New York City. They were wanted for multiple charges relating to a shooting incident at a restaurant in which the three subjects fired several rounds killing one person and critically injuring three. They were arrested in NY with a .38 caliber hand gun.[10] Other incidents include a large brawl in Manhattan's Union Square.[20][21]

There have been incidents of individuals who have been attacked with machetes after being asked if they were members of the DDP.[25] Some attacks have been deadly.[26]

Potential for expansionEdit

They are currently the second largest gang of Dominican descent behind the Trinitarios gang.[27] The group has limited potential for nationwide expansion and is largely confined to areas with significant Dominican populations, in particular Washington Heights[28] Florida, Atlanta, Boston and New Jersey.[29] It is the fastest growing gang in the Bronx,[30] and among the largest in New Jersey.[31] They are considered to have the largest concentration of Dominicans of any neighborhood in the United States, combined population of Dominicans residing in New York and New Jersey totals around 1.2 out of an overall US Dominican population of 2.3 million as of 2001.[32]

In other countriesEdit


On March 7, 2006, Spanish police in Madrid noted a growing gang presence of the DDP.[11] Spanish police report 130 documented DDP members, making them the largest in Spain. DDP is the largest and most violent street gang in Spain. The gang has become one of the most prominent gangs in Madrid.[11][33] On November 5, 2009, Spanish security forces arrested 40 DDP members, all of them between 16 and 29 years old. The security forces confiscated 5 guns, one grenade, one machete, ammo, 3 baseball bats, 400 grams of cocaine, and 200.000 euros in cash.[34] As of 2021, DDP is still active in Spain, where they have recently murdered an 18 year old rapper with Asperger and schizophrenia.[35] El Ministerio de Interior vigila a 620 bandas juveniles en toda España, de las que 88 son de origen latino. Sólo en la Comunidad de Madrid, la Policía Nacional tiene fichados a 400 pandilleros en activo (2500 en el territorio nacional).

Gang rivalriesEdit

The Trinitarios[2][16][36][37][38][39][40] are DDP's biggest rival gang since the early 2000s, they were once united in the 1990s. They also are at peace with the Latin Kings, a Puerto Rican-based gang who has had previous problems with their rivals the Trinitarios. The gang also has an ongoing rivalry with anyone who is or has an association with their rivals the Trinitarios.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Gangs of New York Brad Hamilton, New York Post (October 28, 2007)
  2. ^ a b c Archived from the original on 2013-02-03. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Rosero, Jessica (April 29, 2007). "How local gangs operate". The Hudson Reporter. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007.
  4. ^ Christian, Nichole M. (August 12, 2001). "Brooklyn Journal; Fatal Accident Tests Neighborhood Trust in Police". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Drug Trafficking Organizations". National Drug Intelligence Center. June 2008. Archived from the original on August 8, 2008.
  6. ^ Bove, Vincent J. "American Gang Crisis Alert: School Recruitment and Response". North Jersey Regional Crime Prevention Officers Association. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.
  7. ^ "Governor's Crime Plan Initiative Leads to Arrests of Gang Members" (Press release). October 8, 2008. Archived from the original on July 20, 2011.
  8. ^ "Ninety-six street gang members and associates nabbed by ICE operation throughout New Jersey" (Press release). U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. June 23, 2008. Archived from the original on January 14, 2009.
  9. ^ "NJGIA". Archived from the original on 2011-07-27. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  10. ^ a b "Regional Fugitive Task Forces Catch of the Week" (PDF). United States Marshals Service. January 1, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 30, 2007.
  11. ^ a b c "DDP in Spain". DR1 News. May 4, 2007. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.
  12. ^ Lee, Jennifer 8. (March 12, 2005). "2 High School Students Are Stabbed in Apparent Gang Fight". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 29, 2018. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  13. ^ "Gang busted in Coney". Daily News. June 15, 2006. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007.
  14. ^ "Page Not Found". New York Daily News. 14 April 2005. {{cite news}}: Cite uses generic title (help)[dead link]
  15. ^ Chung, Jen (March 6, 2007). "Teen Stabbed in Union Square May Know Attackers". Gothamist. Archived from the original on March 20, 2007. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  16. ^ a b c d Hope, Bradley (March 6, 2007). "16-Year-Old Stabbed, Likely as Result of Gang Dispute". The New York Sun. Archived from the original on June 10, 2008.
  17. ^ Kadison, Dan; Fagen, Cynthia R. (December 8, 2006). "Shock and Fear in Union 'Scare'". New York Post. Archived from the original on January 26, 2007.
  18. ^ a b c "Arrest in Union Square market melee". ABC7. December 8, 2006. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved April 24, 2009.
  19. ^ a b Vasquez, Emily (December 8, 2006). "Trouble Found Them: Two Groups of Restless Teenagers". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 27, 2016. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  20. ^ a b Archived from the original on 2013-01-24. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^ a b "Breaking News, World News, US and Local News - NY Daily News - New York Daily News". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ Amateau, Albert (December 2006). "Union Sq. murder arrest". The Villager. Vol. 76, no. 29. Archived from the original on July 9, 2008. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  23. ^ Italiano, Laura; Blue, Laura (December 9, 2006). "Union Sq. Slay Rap on Boy, 16". The New York Post. Archived from the original on May 13, 2014.
  24. ^ (Press release) Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. {{cite press release}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  25. ^ Martinez, Erika (February 10, 2008). "NYPD Daily Blotter: Manhattan". New York Post. Archived from the original on April 15, 2008.
  26. ^ Schwach, Howard (June 20, 2008). "A-Train Homicide". Wave of Long Island. Archived from the original on August 9, 2011. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  27. ^ Savelli, Lou (January 10, 2008). "Trinitarios Overview: An Amerging Threat on the East Coast" (PDF). Gangs Across America. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 20, 2012. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  28. ^ Lombardi, Chris (December 28, 2007). "Stabbing sparks inquiry into possible gang ties at Rustin HS". Vol. 2, no. 13. Archived from the original on August 28, 2008.
  29. ^ (PDF) {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  30. ^ {{cite news}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)[permanent dead link]
  31. ^ Schweber, Nate (March 15, 2009). "Hospital Told How to Identify and Handle Gang Members". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 7, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  32. ^ Logan, US Bureau of the Census 1999 and 2000 Census of Population and Housing
  33. ^ Burke, Jason (October 15, 2006). "Gang wars shake Spain's Latin quarter". The Observer. Archived from the original on December 1, 2006.
  34. ^ "Madrid arrests cripples Dominican Don't Play gang". Dominican Today. November 5, 2009. Archived from the original on July 15, 2015. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  35. ^ "La Fiscalía pide prisión para 3 miembros de la banda Dominicans Don't Play". La Informacion. La Informacion. 3 October 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  36. ^ Messing, Philip (January 14, 2008). "Schools' Gang Scourge: Bloody Turf War Hits HS Campuses". The New York Post. Archived from the original on January 16, 2008.
  37. ^ "Reputed Gang Members Busted in Washington Heights". MyFox New York. March 10, 2009. Archived from the original on March 29, 2010. Retrieved April 24, 2009.
  38. ^ {{cite news}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  39. ^ Martinez, Erika (February 9, 2008). "NYPD Daily Blotter: Manhattan". The New York Post. Archived from the original on June 18, 2009.
  40. ^ Carlson, Jen (July 13, 2008). "Teen Gang Responsible for Williamsburg's Weekend Stabbings". Gothamist. Archived from the original on June 15, 2009.