17 Hells Angels gang members indicted for attack on 3 Black males

By SDCN Editor

San Diego, CA–San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced Monday that 17 Hells Angels motorcycle gang members and their supporters have been indicted by a grand jury for their roles in the June 6 attack on three Black men in Ocean Beach this past summer. 

According to the District Attorney’s Office, the group of outlaw Hells Angels motorcycle gang members and their supporters viciously attacked the men on a public sidewalk.

The victims, ages 19, 20, and 21, were on Newport Avenue enjoying a night out. Virtually out of nowhere— possibly because one of the men spoke to a biker’s girlfriend— they were chased and attacked by several Hells Angels and Hells Angels supporters. They were repeatedly called a racial epithet and told they didn’t belong in the neighborhood, DA Stephan said.

One victim ran and escaped injury. Another victim was punched and kicked all over his body. The beating only stopped after he was sucker punched in the head and knocked unconscious. The third man was also beaten by multiple bikers and left helpless, curled up on the ground. Longtime Hells Angels leader, Troy Scholder, pulled out a knife, rolled the victim onto his side, and stabbed him in the chest, cracking the man’s sternum. After trying to kill the victim, Scholder casually folded up his knife and walked away. The man survived his injuries.

“In San Diego County, we cannot, and will not tolerate violence and racism of any nature, much less crimes like this hateful, vicious, and unprovoked attack,” said DA Stephan. “It is a testament to the cooperation and coordination of our law enforcement partners, working closely with our Gangs Division, that these defendants were identified and are being brought to face justice.”

The crime kicked off a large-scale investigation by the San Diego Police Department and the District Attorney’s Gang Unit. Deputy District Attorney Miriam Hemming and District Attorney Investigators Ross Umstot and Bryan Maddox worked relentlessly with SDPD to identify all the attackers and convene a grand jury. On September 5, after hearing six days of testimony, the grand jury returned indictments against 14 defendants for assault likely to cause great bodily injury— all with a gang allegation and 11 of them with a hate crime allegation. The grand jury added three additional defendants because the trio helped drive the stabber from the scene and back to the Hells Angels Clubhouse in El Cajon.

“These disgusting hate-driven attacks have no place in our community. There is no stronger way to condemn this violence than to hold the perpetrators accountable to the fullest force of the law,” said Police Chief David Nisleit. “We committed every necessary resource to track down and arrest each person who was involved in these wanton acts of violence.”

All 17 members were arrested on September 21. Law enforcement also seized 42 illegal firearms and drugs. 

If convicted of all charges, the defendants face a range of possible sentences from three years to life in prison. A readiness hearing is set for November 3 at the Superior Court downtown. The trial is currently set for November 14.

Several agencies worked together on the investigation and subsequent arrests, including the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, El Cajon Police Department, Escondido Police Department, Chula Vista Police Department, La Mesa Police Department, Oceanside Police Department, National City Police Department, and the Narcotics Task Force. The DA’s Office also received assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The Hells Angels are an international outlaw motorcycle gang with chapters across California and an active chapter in San Diego County. They gain strength in numbers by developing support or puppet clubs, including at least five in San Diego. The organization profits by trafficking in guns and drugs, as evidenced by search warrants executed last Thursday netting 35 firearms. In addition to running guns and drugs, the Hells Angels have been well-known to have a virulent streak of racism, demonstrated by their pervasive use of Nazi symbols and images.

In a separate case, the District Attorney’s Gangs Unit is also prosecuting a recent Hells Angels president for another unprovoked attack on a former Hells Angels associate at a crowded IHOP restaurant in Clairemont. That attack left the victim with broken bones in his face.

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