Tiny Rascal Gang

Tiny Rascal Gang
Founded 1980s
Founding location Long Beach, California, and Santa Ana, California, United States
Years active 1980s-present
Territory California, other US states,[1] Canada,[2] and Australia.
Ethnicity Predominantly Cambodian[3]
Membership (est.) 10,000[4]
Criminal activities Extortion, racketeering, drug trafficking, arson, assault, murder, robbery, theft, fraud, and illegal gambling,
Allies Ghost Shadows, Wah Ching
Rivals Asian Boyz,[4] Crips, Bloods,[5] Menace of Destruction,[6] Sureños[7][8]

Tiny Rascal Gang (or frequently spelled as Tiny Raskal Gang) is a Long Beach, California, based Cambodian street gang and organized crime group. The gang originated among Cambodian immigrants to the United States. TRG is considered to be the largest Asian American street gang in the United States. Most members are of Cambodian descent, but some are of other ethnic groups.[9]


In 1975, after the fall of Phnom Penh, California started receiving its first Cambodian refugees. As with many refugee groups, lack of knowledge concerning the culture of the host nation and limited command of the English language, helped create a barrier that isolated the newly arrived Cambodians. These groups initially are not well accepted by the established street gangs and are often viewed as community outcasts by the general population.

In the mid-1980s, a fight occurred between a Latino student and a Cambodian immigrant in Long Beach, an event which led to the formation of the Tiny Rascal gang.[10] As a means of protection, other young Cambodian immigrants began forming several street gangs. The Tiny Rascal Gang originated from these street gangs. Adopting grey as their representative "colors", members could be recognized by their gray "rags". Members of the Tiny Rascal gang began committing several forms of violent crime.[11] Some of the Tiny Rascal gang members were originally members of the Asian Boyz, a rival gang, and transferred gangs due to friction between other fellow Tiny Rascal members.[9]

Tiny Rascal Gang has had a long rivalry with the Long Beach Hispanic gang East Side Longos MUIE.[2]

A more recent rivalry which has been relevant over the past decade is the clashes between Insane Boyz Gang and Tiny Rascal Gang in Seattle. .[12] [13] [14]


Originally a Cambodian gang, they eventually allowed the recruitment of other ethnic groups.[2] There are about 10,000 members nationwide.[4] Also in the 1990s, females were also allowed to represent the gang and an all-female branch of the gang formed called "LRG (Lady Rascal Gang)". This set was later disbanded.

As with many other gangs, potential members must first undergo an initiation called the 'jump in' where they have to fight other members of the gang or endure a beating for a specific amount of time.[11]


The Tiny Rascal Gang is involved in a wide range of criminal activities: extortion, robbery, home invasion, burglary, theft, protection, and murder are some of the more publicized criminal activities of the gang. While young members of the gang are mostly involved in street crimes, older members of the gang have progressed to serious organized criminal activities. The older sets maintain a working relationship with similar sets of a fellow Southeast Asian gang called Asian Boyz. They have formed alliances with Chinese Triad organizations such as the New York City-based Ghost Shadows. They are part of the On Leong Tong. In alliance with the traditionally organized Triad gangs, the Tiny Rascal gang and the Asian Boyz have been involved in organized criminal activities such as large scale drug trafficking operations, weapon trafficking, prostitution and illegal gambling.[2]

In August 1995, five TRG members, aged 16 to 23, invaded the house of a family in San Bernardino and shot five of them to death in a robbery. The victims were ages 10 to 44. The five perpetrators were sentenced to life imprisonment.[15]

The gang also has a presence among the Cambodian-American community in Lowell, Massachusetts. According to police there, several hundred TRG members lived in the Lowell area in 2008, and the gang was connected to a dozen homicides and 20 assaults in Lowell within the years of 1998 and 2008.[16]

Media depiction

Two documentaries, Raskal Love and Cambodian Son have been about Tiny Rascal Gang members. Gangland has also dedicated an episode to Tiny Rascal Gang sets in Fresno.

See also


  1. "2011 National Gang Threat Assessment – Emerging Trends". 2011.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Police Magazine". Policemag.com. Retrieved 2013-10-30.
  3. "Asian Gang Shootings On Upswing In City, Police Say One Youth, Thai Ho, 17, Got Caught In The Middle. The Shooter Thought He Was A Rival, Police Said. - Philly.com". articles.philly.com. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
  4. 1 2 3 "Gangland California's Killing Fields Part 1-3". Gangland. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  5. Prosecutors say man involved in South Seattle gang war shootings, KIRO-TV, April 7, 2014.
  6. Not on our turf California gangs create havoc here, "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel", July 28, 1994.
  7. Hay, Jeremy (May 22, 2005). "A HARDER EDGE TO GANG VIOLENCE" (PDF). Press Democrat. Retrieved March 15, 2014.
  8. Moxley, R. Scott. We Don't Care Gang Killer Begs Judges To Care About His Trial Complaint, OC Weekly, July 2013.
  9. 1 2 "Gangland Californias Killing Fields Part 2-3". Gangland. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  10. Moore, Derek J. Ruthless Asian gangs blaze trail of violence, Press Democrat, March 15, 2008.
  11. 1 2 "Organized Crime in California : 2010 Annual Report to Legislature" (PDF). Cag.ca.gov. Retrieved 2013-10-30.
  12. Spangenthal-Lee, Jonah The Gang Round-Up Round-Up, SPD Plotter, August 17, 2012.
  13. Pulkkinen, Levi Target in two gang shootings now accused in third, SeattlePI, November 19, 2012.
  14. Kiro 7 Prosecutors say man involved in South Seattle gang war shootings, Kiro 7, August 7, 2014.
  15. Gang member pleads guilty, Los Angeles Times
  16. Hanna, Maddie. 10 arrested during series of Lowell gang raids, Boston.com, July 20, 2008.
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