Over a dozen people are facing charges months after a racially motivated attack against three Black men in California. A grand jury has indicted 17 members of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang and their supporters, who are accused of “viciously” attacking the victims, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office announced on Monday (September 25).
On June 6, 2023, three Black men, who were aged 19, 20, and 21, were hanging out on Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach when the suspects started chasing them “virtually out of nowhere,” according to prosecutors. The release also claims the violent attack may have stemmed from one of the Black men speaking to a biker’s girlfriend.
During their pursuit, the gang members allegedly hurled racial slurs and told the victims they “didn’t belong in the neighborhood.” One of the victims managed to escape, but the other two were subjected to a brutal assault by the bikers. Prosecutors claim the suspects punched and kicked one Black man until he fell unconscious, while the third one “curled up on the ground” as the suspects relentlessly beat him.
Troy Scholder, described as a longtime Hells Angels leader, reportedly pulled out a knife and stabbed the third victim in his chest, cracking his sternum, the release states. The biker then “casually folded” up his knife and left the victim to die, but he survived his injuries, prosecutors allege.
Following an investigation by San Diego police and the DA’s gang unit, a grand jury returned an indictment against 14 suspects for assault likely to cause great bodily injury with “a gang allegation.” Eleven of them also received a hate crime allegation, while three people were charged for helping drive Scholder back to the Hells Angels Clubhouse in El Cajon.
Officials said all 17 suspects were arrested on September 21 and arraigned on Monday. Authorities also seized 42 illegal firearms and drugs from the group, according to the release.
The district attorney’s office described the Hells Angels as an “international outlaw motorcycle gang” that traffick guns and drugs and has a “virulent streak of racism, demonstrated by their pervasive use of Nazi symbols and images.”
“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,” San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said in the release. “We committed every necessary resource to track down and arrest each person who was involved in these wanton acts of violence.”
The trial is scheduled for November 14.