Bad Dog

White gangsters or misunderstood jocks? The Devil Dogs beat their victims -- and the system.

If it is an awful thing to pass in front of a piece of reflective glass and glimpse only a stranger looking back, it is worse to know what others see.

"Someone told me I looked like I had Down syndrome when he first met me at Scottsdale Community College because my face was swollen and screwed up," Jarvis said, a reminder that a casual walk across a new school campus or a stroll into the mall must always be self-conscious.

"People do not look at me the same anymore. I feel like all I am is a crooked nose and monster head."

From left, Devil Dogs Kevin Papa, Kenneth Couturier, Barry Nutter and Michael Spears.
From left, Devil Dogs Kevin Papa, Kenneth Couturier, Barry Nutter and Michael Spears.
Clockwise from left, Devil Dogs Kevin Papa, Kenneth Couturier, Barry Nutter and Michael Spears.
Clockwise from left, Devil Dogs Kevin Papa, Kenneth Couturier, Barry Nutter and Michael Spears.

There is one thing more. Because Jordan Jarvis is a teenager, his is a world of male images handed to him. Much as a rape victim wrestles with unfair questions, the assault confronted Jarvis with consumptive doubts about his manliness.

"Some people look at me like, "Why didn't you defend yourself?'" said the young man. "Like they think I was weird because I got beat up by a whole gang at once."

His grievous concerns are intertwined with nuanced difficulties that spring even from the mundane.

Jordan says that when he introduces himself, people think he has said "Gordon" (with a G).

Now, if you tell a boy that he sounds like he has a sinus condition when he speaks, you are only making an observation. But that's not what he hears.

"He doesn't like to talk because he is hard to understand," said his mother.

Jordan Jarvis does not recognize himself in the mirror, and he can't tell you who he is without repeating himself.

The beating was so much more than a broken nose.

And the prosecution of the Park South Crips and the Gilbert Devil Dogs was nothing less than the difference between "their" kids and "ours."

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