San Diego

17 Hells Angels, associates face charges after hate-attack in Ocean Beach: San Diego DA

The victims, ages 19, 20 and 21, were chased and attacked in San Diego's Ocean Beach neighborhood on June 6, subjected to a racial epithet and told they didn't belong there, prosecutors said in a news release

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Seventeen people have been indicted on various charges involving an attack on three Black men by members of the Hells Angels biker gang in San Diego this year, the San Diego County District Attorney's Office said Monday.

The victims, ages 19, 20 and 21, were chased and attacked in San Diego's Ocean Beach neighborhood on June 6, subjected to a racial epithet and told they didn't belong there, prosecutors said in a news release.

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said the melee was possibly sparked because one of the victims "dared to talk to one of the girlfriends of these members.''

The incident occurred on OB's main drag, Newport Avenue. One victim escaped injury by running, another was punched, kicked and knocked unconscious, and the last victim, who was lying on the ground after several people
beat him, was also allegedly stabbed in the chest by 43-year-old Troy Anthony Scholder, described as a "longtime Hells Angels leader.'' After the stabbing, other defendants spirited Scholder from the crime scene to the gang's clubhouse in El Cajon, Stephan said.

On Sept. 13, a grand jury indicted 14 people for allegedly taking part in the assault, including an allegation that it was carried out in association with a criminal street gang. The grand jury included hate crime allegations against 11 of the defendants.

The most serious charge, attempted murder, was brought against Scholder. The grand jury added three more defendants on charges of being accessories after the fact for allegedly helping to drive Scholder away from the scene.

“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,” District Attorney Summer Stephan said in a statement.

Stephan said Hells Angels has chapters across the state, including an active chapter in San Diego County. Along with engaging in criminal activity, the motorcycle gang is "well known to have a despicable streak of racism, especially against Black people,'' she said.

All of the defendants were arrested last Thursday, prosecutors said, during which investigators allegedy seized drugs and 42 illegal guns.

Several of the defendants appeared in court on Monday.

Scholder, who is being held without bail, faces up to 39 years to life in state prison if convicted. Others face prison terms ranging from three to 17 years. Those who were allowed to remain out of custody must follow certain conditions, including not associating with the Hells Angels or other motorcycle gangs, and to stay away from the block of Newport Avenue where the alleged attack took place.

Trial was set for Nov. 14.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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