A grand jury indicted 17 members and associates of a Hells Angels motorcycle gang in a seemingly unprovoked and brutal attack on three Black men in San Diego this summer.
The assault occurred June 6 in the Ocean Beach neighborhood of San Diego.
The three victims, ages 19, 20 and 21, were out together on Newport Avenue when they were chased by several members of the Hells Angels biker gang. Prosecutors said one of the men might have spoken to a girlfriend of one of the bikers before the pursuit.
One victim was beaten until he lost consciousness, while a second one was beaten and stabbed, allegedly by the leader of the gang, identified by prosecutors as Troy Scholder, 43. The third man was able to run away and escaped injury.
Months of investigations by the San Diego Police Department and the district attorney’s office led to the indictment of 14 people with charges of assault likely to cause great bodily injury and special allegations of being part of a criminal street gang. Eleven of the charges had additional hate crime enhancements.
Three other people are facing lesser charges on suspicion of driving Scholder from the scene to the Hells Angels Clubhouse in El Cajon, authorities said.
“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,” San Diego County Dist. Atty. Summer Stephan said in a statement.
The 17 defendants were arrested last week and, on Monday, pleaded not guilty to their respective charges, authorities said. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported the suspects ranged in age from 22 to 57.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Nov. 3, with a trial set to begin Nov. 14.
The investigation into the assault involved assistance from seven local law enforcement agencies in San Diego County as well as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.