Between motorcycle manufactures, affinity groups, retailers, mechanics and aftermarket accessories, there is a wide support network of resources for our motorcycles. More important is that many of us are looking for the same thing from the motorcycle community which means finding others who share similar interests, getting involved and contributing our time and resources to help others and the motorcycle community at large.
And speaking of motorcycle ambassadors of peace and spreading goodwill around the world…
Let’s talk Vagos and Hells Angels. Recently, the Washoe County Grand Jury testimony was released and the proceedings outline the resulting indictments of three men accused in the shooting of Jeffrey Pettigrew, the San Jose HAMC chapter president during Street Vibrations in September 2011 at John Ascuaga’s Nugget in Sparks. The grand jury was conducted by two Washoe County Deputy District Attorneys named Karl Hall and Amos Stege. The full transcript is about 60,000 words long.
No, I’m not moving the blog into the “True Crime” genre. I’m re-publishing the testimony from Confidential Source #11-67 who was previously identified as former Vago Jacob Cancelli because it provides a disappointing look into the world of motorcycle clubs and some of their members. Mr. Cancelli was one of the 14 witnesses who appeared before the Washoe County Grand Jury on November 9, 2011. I have yet to received a copy of the Grand Jury transcript, but this information comes courtesy of the Aging Rebel blog and I want to provide a shout out on his deep coverage of the topic.
As quick background; Vago Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez is accused of fatally shooting the HAMC president. Hells Angel Cesar Villagrana is accused of shooting two other Vagos. And Vagos Stuart Gary “Jabbers” Rudnick is charged with instigating the fight that led to the fatal shooting.
Question (Q): Sir I am going to refer to you as Confidential Source 11-67, all right?
Answer (A): Yes….
Q. Are you familiar with the Vagos motorcycle club?
A. Yes. I have been a Vagos for twenty-seven years. I have been involved with Vagos for twenty-seven years. I moved up the ranks to a very high rank of Vagos within the last few months. Before this event took place, I was in the higher echelon, echelon, excuse me, of the club.
Q. Were you at the Nugget on the 23rd of September, 2011?
A. Yes, I was.
Q. Are you familiar…I am showing you or behind you videoed surveillance tape that was captured from the Oyster Bar. It is Vagos-H.A. Oyster Bar two at about 22:13 hours or about 10:13 p.m. on that day. Do you recognize some of the individuals that are depicted in that video?
Q. All right. I am going to play a little bit of that video. Are you familiar with Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez?
Q. How are you familiar with him?
A. Through the club.
Q. You can identify him?
Q. Do you know Cesar Villagrana?
Q. How do you know him?
A. Through the club.
Q. Through the club?
Q. All right. How about Mr. Pettigrew, Jeffrey also known as Jethro Pettigrew?
A. Yes, I can identify him, too.
Q. Can you identify an individual by the name of Gary Stuart Rudnick?
A. What is his….
Q. So “Jabbers” would be a nickname?
Q. All right. Having been at the Nugget, were you over in the Oyster Bar on the night in question, the 23rd?
Q. All right.
A. That is me right there.
Q. That would be you?
Q. Were you familiar with what was going on that night?
Q. Was there any tension between the Hells Angels motorcycle club and the Vagos motorcycle club?
A. Yes, there was.
Q. What was the nature of that tension?
A. What had happened is that, if I might go through this, may go through this, I got a call. I was by the east elevator bar over there.
We got a call there was a problem with the Hells Angels. So when we got that call, we moved towards the area of the Oyster Bar, and at that time, when I went to the Oyster Bar in this corner here, the corner…Is this the Oyster Bar here?
A. That’s the back bar, right?
Q. So it bears over on the left-hand corner.
A. Okay. Right here where you see this little area here, it is a little box. There is an opening behind it. Rght there is where “Jabbers” was at, at the time when I first came up, and Pettigrew.
Q. What was going on between “Jabbers” or Mr. Rudnick and Mr. Pettigrew?
A. Well, when I walked up, there was a lot of Vagos that were around.
And I took a look over there, and they both came out, and “Jabbers”
was very upset. And he just kept on talking, kept on talking, kept on talking. And he kept taunting Pettigrew. What he was saying was the likes of, “I don’t know you. You don’t have a right to touch me. What are you doing?” You know. “I don’t even need to talk to you,” things of that nature, really pushing on top of him. Pettigrew’s response back to him was, “Hey, man, you know, I was just having a good time. I just want to have a beer,”
basically. He wasn’t in no shape or form upset at that time. Top Hat, who is this gentleman right here, is a twenty-year what you call a Nomad for a member. I have known Top Hat for twenty-six years. He was there when we get to that point to talk in conversation with Pettigrew. What had happened is that we were talking to Pettigrew. He was cool. He was just saying, “Hey man, everything is good. I have no problem.” “Jabbers” comes up and “Jabbers” then starts taunting him.
You know, “You had no right touching me.” What he meant by “touching”, he just tapped him on the back, basically. You know, what my insinuation was, he tapped him on the back. He said, “Hey, do you want to have a beer?” “Jabbers” took it as an offensive thing, pushed out his chest because, of course, there was a lot more Vagos than there were Hells Angels. So he kept on taunting. He wouldn’t stop. So I told him, I said, “Listen, shut the fuck up.” Excuse my French, but I have to tell you the way it went. I said, “Shut the fuck up. Get the fuck out of here.” He backed up for a minute, then he come back again. I said, “I told you to leave.” He says, “Hey, hey, don’t worry.” I said, “I told you to leave.” Now me, in my position, he has to listen to me.
So what happens is that Pettigrew and I are talking. He comes back up again, and then Pettigrew looks at him. I am going to call him Jethro.
Jethro looks at him and he says to Jethro, “You know I don’t know why you had to touch me.” He says, you know, “Just talk to me.” He said, “I don’t need to talk to you,” this and this, whatever. Jethro lost it. He got pissed off.
Q. Jethro Pettigrew is mad at “Jabbers” or Rudnick?
A For taunting him, taunting him, taunting him. He finally just said, “Listen, I don’t need to fucking talk to you no more.” He turned around and walked away.
Q. We have that depicted on the video. Let’s see, Mr. Rudnick also known as “Jabbers” and so we are at 22:13:40?
A. We are looking at him right now.
Q. Can I ask you to back up so we can see? I have a pointer right here. We can kind of identify people. Now this individual at the bottom left-hand corner?
Q. Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez?
Q. Is he associated…How would be he associated with Mr. Rudnick or “Jabbers”?
A. He would be associated just as a brother, but he’s an underling because “Jabbers” is a V.P., Vice President. So at any moment, if “Jabbers” was to ask him for assistance to back him up, he would do it. So Mr. Gonzalez is basically the backup to Mr. Rudnick because Rudnick is a Vice President in the Vagos. “Jabbers,” yes, and here is Pettigrew right there. That is him. All he’s doing, he’s just trying, shaking people’s hand, saying hello. That is his MO, tapping, say hello, whatever. This is when I come over, because “Jabbers” is having serious issues. So this is Top Hat, Gonzalez, they call him Romeo, that is his nickname. There is “Jabbers” right there. So I go over there. I am talking to him for a minute, and I told him…and here is this guy that was backing him up. This is the guy that says I won’t leave my Vice President. He’s an L.A. charter. This is Bret from South Bay, South Bay member. I think that is Bret right there from South Bay.
Q. Did you go over and talk to Pettigrew?
A. Yes. This is Pettigrew right here, Hells Angels President. I am over there talking to him. And this is Crusher, his name is Leo Ramirez. He’s one of the guys that got shot.
Q. Leonard Ramirez, the person that got shot in the stomach?
A. Yes, he did. He watches over me. That was his job. And I am talking to Top Hat here. And what we were trying to do is make everything at ease right here, settle everybody, to back them off. We don’t want nobody in there.
Q. You were trying to diffuse the situation, avoid an altercation?
A. One hundred percent. See there, I am on the phone. I am trying to get in touch with some of the top, top, National members so I could tell them what is going on before this thing turns into a problem.
Q. Now were there a lot of Vagos meeting at the Nugget that weekend?
Q. Had there been a meeting earlier that day at the Nugget?
A. Yes. We had a meeting at 8:00 o’clock in the West towers.
Q. Approximately how many Vagos members attended that meeting?
A. Over five hundred. There was a Vagos members meeting. Right afterward, there was a Prospect meeting. Then right after that, there was a Nomad meeting. Nomad, which means there is gentlemen Vagos in the club that have been in the club twenty years or over. And there was a Nomad force there. They had the third meeting. After this meeting took place and everything, we remained downstairs again.
Q. All right. We can still see Mr. Gonzales in the bottom right-hand corner, Mr. Rudnick or “Jabbers” there kind of in the middle, I think that would be.
A. There is “Jabbers” talking to Top Hat. That is his wife. Top Hat is trying to talk to him, but “Jabbers” is not paying attention. He’s just getting more and more frustrated. See by Top Hat’s demeanor when he’s talking to him, basically telling him he has to back up, just relax. Can we go back for a moment, please?
Q. Yes. I am getting there. Bear with me. It is more.
A. That’s it right there.
Q. We’ll get there.
A. There I am. I have got everybody for the back. That is Bob. He is the Vice President of the San Jose Hells Angels. I went up to Bob. I was talking to him, and he said, “Everything is going to be all right.” He says, “I am getting too old for this.” I said, “I am getting to old for this, too.” We shook each other hands. A lot of people around didn’t like what was going on. But I talked to his Hang-around. I am talking to the guy. Now Top Hat goes back.
Everybody is a little bit tight. And there is “Jabbers” right there.
Q. Rudnick went back over to where Pettigrew was?
A. Yes. I go back in. I am getting angry. I told him already to go. When I go…Leo’s name is Crusher, the Vagos name we call him.
Q. Leonard, Leo, Crusher, they are all the same….
A. Crusher, Leo, is right here. He has to watch me. I am telling him to leave.
Q. You are telling “Jabbers” to leave?
A. He’s trying to tell him, “What is going on? Don’t touch me.” He’s, “Listen, I was just playing around.” So him, Top Hat and I are telling “Jabbers”, I put my hand on “Jabber,” said, “back off.” I said, “Get out of here.” Basically just leave. I am telling him. That is his essay.
Q. What happened after that? Did Mr. Rudnick, “Jabbers”, say anything about the situation?
A. Yeah. What happened is that “Jabbers” kept taunting him.
Q. Taunting Pettigrew?
A. Taunting Pettigrew. What happened is Pettigrew then got angry and he says, “I don’t need to talk to you no more,” basically. And he walks away. So I tell everybody to walk out. “Jabbers” and Top Hat sit right here at the video, and “Jabbers” is drunk, and he tells Top Hat, he says, “Why are Nomads always getting involved with our business?”
Nomads are, the Nomad Vagos are Vagos. We are all one. But still, they are there to help out. Nomads are there to help out, and each one of the charters of the Vagos, for any type of encouragement if someone has a problem, whatever. They can come into any meeting they want to at any time to hear what is going on within the structure of each charter. He give Top Hat, he has a beard, a full beard, and he says, “You got this much time, because I made a call to the guys. They were still upstairs, the National members. This is the International Vice President, Secretary, Sergeant at Arms, all the way upstairs talking.
What I then did was made a call to the National President and he didn’t answer the phone. I then called the National President Nomads, Rocky, and we talked and he says, “Come up here immediately.” I walked. Then he says, Top Hat, I am right next to Top Hat, “If you guys don’t get down here, something’s going to happen.”
Q. What did he mean by that?
A. It is going to get it on, move without anybody’s, you know, permission or anything.
Q. When you say get it on, Vagos are going to fight with Hells Angels?
A. One hundred percent. So I got pissed off at him. Right at that point, being who I am, I could have smacked him in the mouth, knocked him out, but I didn’t choose to do that. I went upstairs, because this is a big deal going on here. When I went upstairs, I talked to Dragonman and Dragonman and Rocky are up there. We are talking about the situation, what happened. I told him Jabbers is drunk. I told him that, you know, he was taunting the guy. And I told him it is going to turn into a real bad thing real quick, because us and Hells Angels don’t get along too well at all because of past history. So what they did is they formed their little group. They came downstairs. They walked around. They came back down to the bar where no one was allowed. All Vagos were backing up at that time. They went into the bar. Pettigrew was there, Jethro, and they talked to Jethro and they talked to Bobby V and everything was diffused. They said everything’s cool. Jethro says he didn’t want no issues. There is no problems. They said, okay, everything is fine. There is no problems here. Everything is cool. The problem is, when you have a lot of people, when you have over five hundred people from a particular organization, you can’t get the word out to everybody at one time. That is the problem. So they came walking back. And I don’t know if you want to go through that area.
Q. Well, we’ll get to that area. But before I get there, can I talk a little bit about the organization of the Vagos organization?
Q. All right. So can you tell us about how the organization is structured? You talked about the hierarchy, the upper echelon?
A. How it is structured is that you have a panel that are called International who are what you call the top of the whole Green Nation Vagos Motorcycle Club. It starts with the International President, then goes International Vice President, International Secretary, International Sergeant at Arms, International Road Captain.
Q. What are their duties? What are they charged with, those different people?
A. Road Captain is on the road. He basically takes over the pack or the charter, whoever is on the road with him. The International Road Captain, at all times you have to obey what he has to say when you are on the road with the Road Captain, because it is the road. What happens is, when he takes a pack anywhere, whether it is to Vegas, Reno, whatever, everybody has to follow his direction. He controls it on the freeway. Sergeant at Arms, when you are off the bikes and you are out and about, Sergeant of Arms position is to make sure that nobody, absolutely nobody guests hurt, has any problems. I am talking Vagos members. Okay. Each Vagos charter has the same type of set up.
You have your President, you have your Vice President, you have your Secretary, you have your Sergeant at Arms, and you have your Raod Captain. Now each one of them have to follow pretty much the same direction. So the International President, he runs the club. The International Vice President assists him in running the club. He’s like what you call a concierge, tells him, delegates certain things to him, what he thinks he should do. The Secretary takes care of, you know, the books, Bylaws, things of that nature. At the end, the Secretary combines everything and puts it together. The Sergeant at Arms, his position is to protect the President, International President at all times, at all cost no matter what it is. Okay. If the International President was here at the time, the first thing was to protect him from all members, because it read that way in the Bylaws.
In the Bylaws it says that, number one, start off with the International President. At all times the International President is to be respected under any circumstances, wartime or whatever, wherever he’s at. That is the way it runs and that is the way it operates.
Q. Is respect an important part of the Vagos creed and the Vagos code?
A. Absolutely. Right underneath that part of the Bylaws there is a thing call PBTs. The PBTs are…The PBTs are in essence underneath the International President. They are what you call a higher king of the whole club. Anyone that disrespects them faces serious, serious consequences. Anybody from any chapter, say for instance there is a Riverside chapter. Say for instance there is an L.A. chapter. Say for instance members of the L.A. chapter come up to the President of the other chapter and says words to him, he reports that to the President, and then he could take care of it the way he wants to. Or this President takes care of it the way he thinks is peaceable. They talk about it. They come to a remedy. Most of the time, most of the time when disrespect gets out of order, they don’t call the patch no more.
They became Prospect again. Sometimes they get a beating. So if the guy has been around a long time, what they will do is Prospect him.
Now how it operates, to become a Vagos member, you have got to hang around first. It is called Hang-around. From Hang-around, if we feel everything is good and you are a good person to come into the club, we feel you could do the right thing within the club, from that standpoint it goes from Hang-around to Prospect. When you became a Prospect, the minimum amount of time for Prospects are six months minimum amount of time. It depends on your actions. It depends how you are. But even though you are a Prospect for one charter, because there is a lot of charters of the Vagos, illustration, for instance southern California, Rivera, if there was a Prospect for southern California Rivera that belongs to me or belongs to another individual, at that time, that Prospect then not only belongs to me but has to have the respect of all and everybody until such time as he earns the patch. So wherever he has to travel, wherever he has to go, whatever he has to do, he does as a Prospect to earn that patch.
Q. So for example if you have prospects that made the trip up to Reno, what would they be tasked to do or told to do?
A. Well, that is when you had the second meeting with the prospects. And the prospects are usually told, I wasn’t at the Prospect meeting, but have respect, shake everybody’s hand, get to meet everybody, say hello. But in any situation, when a situation like that happened, you will see in this video there is a Prospect that is walking through, and they will up the command of their sponsor, move into a battle if they are told to, because if they don’t, they are gone.
Q. Do Vagos typically carry a weapon?
A. There is a lot of Vagos that carry weapons.
Q. Is that part — Is everybody required to carry weapons or is it just your own personal choice?
A. Well, it is basically personal choice. You are not required to carry a weapon. Most of the time, probably ninety-six percent of the club carries a knife, a pretty long knife, a knife that could create damage.
Q. What about guns?
A. Yes, they carry guns.
Q. Are they an outlaw gang?
Q. Are they involved in criminal activity?
Q. What kind of criminal activity would that include?
A. Murder, rape, robbery, drugs, all types.
Q. Now we were talking about the patch. What is it? Is there a symbol that the Vagos have?
A. Well, laymen’s term, there are two parts of the Vagos. I mean a pack of guys riding into the wind, motorcycle gypsies. The Loki on the back the thing that looks like the demon, it is called a Norse God of Mischief. And those are, it is a very mythological term. It means, for instance, super natural. It means germantic mythology. It means neo-paganism. It means to slaughter. There is a lot of meanings to the Loki. That is basically it. If you took any time and looked, you could see for yourself what it means. It comes out of mythology, not from here but from Germany, from the Netherlands and some EEC countries.
Q. All right. I was just, if you could look behind you, I have displayed a jacket. So when we are talking about the patch, full patch member, is this the patch I am pointing to with the Loki?
A. Yeah. This right here is the Vagos patch. This is the rocker that represents where you are from.
Q. Did somebody say something?
A. This is their flags, and this is the beginning of when you became a member of the Vagos motorcycle club. This patch is not on your back at first when you are a Prospect. When you are done prospecting, that patch is given to you and you have to sew that patch on. Then you take it somewhere to get it sewed on.
Q. All right now before we kind of digress into the Vagos and discussed the Vagos and hierarchy, I had a couple other questions about that. Do the Vagos have, each chapter, have regular meetings?
A. Yes. They are called church.
Q. And what do you discuss at church?
A. Church, usually it is pretty much a lot of the same things, but most of the stuff at the church that is going on is the Bylaws, the Bylaws of the Vagos way of living. To make sure they understand those Bylaws.
Everything in the Bylaws has to do with the National with the Presidents, with the members, with prospects and Vagos old ladies, their thinking of that nature. He’s laughing over there. I am going to tell you, you are going to like this, the thing about the Vagos ladies that has changed is that Vagos old ladies like to ride bikes, so they can’t ride bikes in the pack with the guys. What they have to do, they have their own Vagos lady patch that says she’s the property of such and such a member. Say for instance Leo, his wife has a rocker on her patch that says Vagos old lady belonging to Crusher, property of Crusher which means that is his property. No one can go near, disrespect or whatever. But if she wants to ride a bike and get on the bike, the rules change. If we are going out in the pack, say we are going up to, you know, coming here to Reno in a pack, she wants to ride a bike, she has to ride in the back of the pack, just like any guest or anybody of that nature. A Hang-around, the same thing.
Prospects ride in the back also. Only members ride in the front, back then there is prospects then the Vagos old ladies.
Q. Now Mr. Rudnick, what was his rank?
A. Please, if you call him “Jabbers”.
Q. We’ll go with “Jabbers.” I am sorry. Rudnick, “Jabbers.”
A. He is Vice President of the Los Angeles Vagos.
Q. So would that be the higher echelon?
A. He’s the second in command of his charter.
Q. Are there people under him that are required to protect him and stand behind him and back him up in case of an altercation?
A. Absolutely. His whole charter, his Sergeant of Arms, depending on Campos. Campos was it. He holds rank. So you have to make sure he’s all right. By the same token, make sure the Vice President is okay.
They split it. Usually they will have one. Sometimes Vagos charters or chapters they will have two Sergeants of Arm in their charters. A lot of them have two. One follows the president, one follows the Vice President. So, yes, they do watch them to make sure he’s okay. Being he’s in that position, all Vagos members, who are not…who are not officers of the club, if he needs assistance, they have to assist him no matter if they are at another charter. He don’t have to ask nobody at a time when something like this goes on, pull him off to do something.
Q. All right. Now I am going to go to camera number 45.
A. Okay. This is the guy right here.
Q. There is “Jabbers” there. No, that is not “Jabbers”, excuse me, this is Garcia?
A. Diego, yes.
Q. Do you know who these women are?
A. Yeah. That is the International Secretary’s old lady, I think her name is Patty, and that is her sister.
Q. Are they associated with the Vagos?
A. They are Vagos. Lori is definitely a Vagos old lady. These are just friends of hers.
Q. Do you know what charter Diego Garcia is associated with?
A. San Jose.
Q. Now did you see Diego Garcia that evening?
Q. Did you notice whether or not he had any injuries?
A. Yes. He was shot in the right leg. There is Gonzales. Romeo. That is Little Dave right there. Now he’s here. He comes over to have a discussion. This is the Sergeant at Arms for South Bay. This is Justin. He’s a Prospect. When you see his back, you will see a patch.
This gentleman is from Lake County. I think his name is Mike or Mark.
I can’t remember. You have to, even though you are in a club for a long time, there is some people in a club, there is not just a couple hundred, you know, there is over thousands of people in the club now.
Right there is “Jabbers.” Right there. He’s putting on his gloves. He’s talking to him. The reason why he’s putting on his gloves, for one reason only, is that it is a premeditated thing. They are going to start some action. This thing is going to go off. And they already have talked to each other, and he told him and he put on his gloves, because they are ready to get down with the people that will come into the picture here shortly. See his gloves going on?
Q. Are these Hells Angels?
A. These are Hells Angels.
Q. Walking past him?
A. And there is some prospects and Hang-arounds that are moving forward. Mind you, this was diffused by National. This is Bobby V, the Vice President, and this is Pettigrew. Now this is “Jabbers”.
Q. When you say it was diffused, you were talking about forty minutes earlier when they were at the Oyster Bar?
A. Absolutely. When the National members went down and talked to them, everything was worked out. It was diffused. There was no problems.
Q. Do you know Pettigrew or Jethro?
Q. What is his rank?
A President of San Jose Hells Angels.
Q. Is that significant?
A. In Hells Angels world, absolutely. He’s one of probably top five or six on the council of Hells Angels.
Q. So he’s an important person in the Hells Angels organization?
A. One of the most important guys in the United States.
Q. All right. So do you know whether or not the Hells Angels motorcycle club is similar to the Vagos motorcycle club in terms of the hierarchy and the code of conduct in terms of protecting the President, respect?
A. One hundred percent.
Q. Very similar?
A. One hundred percent. The only difference between the Hells Angels and only difference between the Vagos is that each charter or chapter of the Hells Angels are all separately incorporated. Vagos are under one cooperate-type entity. The Hells Angels, it is a very, actually it is a smart move on their behalf. The reason why, it has to do with, you know, conspiracy factors and what is the other?
Q. Aiding and abetting, Rico?
A. Rico. Thank you so much. Rico and things of that nature. So if someone does something in this chapter here, that is incorporated, Hells Angels San Jose, San Francisco is not responsible. Oakland is not responsible for that particular situation. That is how it was formed by them. Sonny Barger forged that a while back.
A. We see the gloves on Diego. What he does, you just saw him, he taps him saying, hey, you know, seems like he’s saying no problem. But this guy right here, “Jabbers”, has a big mouth. He’s always had a big mouth. This guy is going to grab on to him, because he probably sees him taunting again.
Q. Would taunting and provoking….
Q. …be similar?
Q. To pick a fight?
A. Yeah. He’s again in his face. Pettigrew as you saw was walking by.
He called him over.
Q. Would that be disrespectful?
A. One hundred percent.
Q. After what had happened earlier at the Oyster Bar to call him over?
A. Absolutely. As far as today is concerned with “Jabbers”, he’s no longer in the Vagos motorcycle club. He’s been kicked out, okay? And because of the problems he’s done which is going to create a lot of problems for him.
Q. I don’t want to digress. I am on a limited time. Let’s just, I want to bring your attention to one thing, though that would maybe be indicative of preparation for battle, and that was one thing that we already discussed was the fact Diego Garcia put some gloves on. Based upon your experience with the club, that would be preparation for battle?
A. One hundred percent.
Q. The other thing where we have Romeo.
A. Romeo, yeah he’s taking off.
Q. He has a drink?
A. He comes over, drops off his drink which means he’s getting prepared. This is the President of San Jose.
Q. Now he’s freeing up his hands?
A. There. He’s right there.
Q. Vagos there. Here is a Hells Angels that gets hit. Over here you can see Pettigrew and Bobby V getting attacked from the rear?
Q. Would that be, based upon your view of this, a concerted effort?
A. One hundred percent.
Q. Of the Vagos? All right.
A. But it works on both ends because….
Q. Pettigrew threw the first punch?
A. It started from that point, things going to happen. Pettigrew could have said to him as well, hey, listen things has been diffused. I talked to your National members. Everything is okay. It didn’t happen. This is the outcome. That is Leo Ramirez right there. He was shot. He was shot in the stomach. And he shot Diego in the leg and Gonzalez, Romeo, disappeared back here.
Q. Would it be fair to say in modern terms parlance a challenge to fight was issued and accepted in this particular case?
A. Absolutely. There is Pettigrew.
Q. Now where were you in relation when all this was going down? Where were you?
A. I was blown to some tables. When I came down the aisle, everything started to happen. We took a right turn. Right to the left, Pettigrew was right in the middle. He was in the fight. The Vagos were crushing him. Leo went inside. Gunshots went off. Leo went left, went out, got shot in the stomach. All hell broke loose, just bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, you know. Bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, numerous amount of shots were happening. I ran straight. I told everybody to hit the deck, everybody. There is people still on the tables, people on machines.
Finally, everybody…actually rammed into the tables, and there is a lady delivering some drinks. I ran into the table. She fell down. I hit my hand. I just wanted to get everybody down. When gunfire is going off, anyone can get hit. I am surprised that a citizen didn’t get shot in the event. Because anyone could have walked out of any corner anywhere. You could have walked out of the bathroom and got shot.
Q. There was one other individual that I wanted to ask you if you knew who he was.
A. There is Gonzales there.
Q. I guess I can ask in simple terms, do you know who shot Leonard Ramirez or Leo?
A. Yes, him.
Q. This fellow right here?
Q. Do you know what his name is?
A. God, I can’t believe it. I lost my train of thought on him. Cesar.
Q. Cesar Villagrana?
A. Yes. Sorry.
Q. That is all right. We can see this fight here. Are there other altercations going on?
A. Bobby V gets hit. He hit him in the head with the gun. Lake County Vagos. There is a fight down over here.
Q. He’s going to get hit again. You see him go down right there?
A. Yup. Because that happens. That is when he walks in, all the fight starts happening over here.
Q. There is the shooting?
A. Yeah, bam. But then there was so many shots going on right now. There is shots going on through this whole melee that is happening here.
Q. Did you see any Vagos with guns?
Q. While you were there?
A. No, I didn’t see guns. They were all tucked away. But I am sure there were plenty of guns there.
Q. So then I was going to go to camera 5.
A. These are Vagos old ladies. One is “Jabbers” wife here.
Q. Would there be a reason they would be standing over here as opposed to standing over there with their husband?
A. The husbands told them to move over here, because something was going to take place.
Q. The altercation we just witnessed on camera 45 would be happening at the top of the screen?
Q. They are kind of back here?
A. Because they were told to go there.
Q. Would that be indicative of a prior plan to engage in mutual combat?
A. Absolutely. Absolutely. They are watching the whole time. As you can see, although people here, some people here, any moment any of them could have been shot, been killed innocently.
Q. Here is 88.
A. That is me, and Pettigrew is in here now with the fight. Then the bullets. You will see me run through here. Bullets go off.
Q. Pettigrew in camera 5 at 23:26:20. There is a number of Vagos he’s confronting?
A. Yes. Leo comes in here, takes a left. He would be right over here.
Takes a right. He is throwing something at the guy with the gun. I don’t know, maybe it is his karate background, who knows. But at that time, he gets shot, but then the shooting is pretty repetitive. It happened, you hear the first round of shooting go off, one, two seconds; next sound of shooting go off, one, two seconds; next round of shooting goes off. Bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam. And to me it sounded like there were thirty rounds go off. It is not out of the question for the members, after they shoot their guns or whatever, to pick up the bullets as the evidence and take it with them. Everybody is hitting the ground.
Q. That looks like another Hells Angels getting chased by some Vagos there.
A. Yeah. He ran through here. I think that is Lunch Box right there.
Q. All right. Then camera 3. So this would be just to the left of Trader Dicks looking at the bathrooms?
A. Yeah. That is the bathroom. That is the men’s. Women’s over there.
Q. We need to kind of move ahead a little.
A. There I am right there.
Q. Okay. So that you are heading towards the altercation?
A. Absolutely. You see the punch. You see, I mean you see the punch right there, bam when he hit “Jabbers” in the face, then all the melee took place.
Q. Ducking and running, is that consistent with the beginning of people running for cover?
A. Absolutely. You know, it is a Friday night. There is a lot of people at the casino. Everybody is just minding their business playing, you know, their game, playing their poker, playing their game. And this is like a pretty heavy thing to happen.
Q. Here we see an H.A.?
Q. He gets attacked by more Vagos down here?
A. Yes, he does.
Q. That is a group of Vagos attacking the Hells Angels?
A. Absolutely. Actually, some women in the women’s bathroom.
Q. So right there is that where you see Pettigrew come down?
Q. That is where Pettigrew….
A. Gets shot.
Q. That is where he gets shot, right there?
A. He gets shot four times in the back.
Q. So then here is camera 7, and that surveillance camera captures the front of Rosie’s Cafe which, again, is just left of the bathroom. I guess that would be south of the bathroom. I am going to go ahead.
A. There I am right there. I just came out of the bathroom with Crusher.
Q. Ramirez was with you?
Q. He went down where the fight was. That is where he got shot?
Q. Diego Garcia putting on the gloves. He gets shot?
Q. Then Pettigrew gets shot?
A. And he dies.
Q. So that series of events I just relayed, is that consistent with the video and your recollection of the events of that evening?
Q. Basically, was that a result of the challenge to fight issued by “Jabbers” to Pettigrew?
A. Absolutely. One hundred percent.
Q. All right. Thank you.
MR. HALL: I have no further questions.
THE FOREMAN: Do we have any questions for the witness?
A GRAND JUROR: I have a question.
THE WITNESS: Yes.
A GRAND JUROR: Do you know who actually fired the shots at Mr.
Pettigrew and hit him with the bullets?
THE WITNESS: Yeah, Gonzales.
A GRAND JUROR: I don’t know if you can answer this. Is he just following the code at that point, Gonzales, do you think?
THE WITNESS: When a situation like this happens, it is Vagos Forever, Forever Vagos. Whatever happens at that time, the way the Vagos organization feels, when you get into situations is to protect. And “Jabbers”, he is a Vice President. That is how it started. So the thing was the guy who was the shooter and Diego, they are related. They are family, okay? So the chapter that was started, when you saw the cut, the jacket with the Vagos Nicaragua and San Jose are all cousins. Gonzalez and Diego are cousins. They are the ones who helped start that whole charter down there. And they are building the chapter very rapidly down there right now. So to your answer, it is a thing that happens, and it is a protective mode to go in because of the guns and the shooting of the other Vagos individuals that got shot first by the Hells Angels automatically puts them into the mode to shoot one of them.
BY MR. HALL:
Q. I was going to ask a question. You mentioned San Jose and the fact the Vagos are expanding rapidly in the San Jose area, Nicaragua area.
The Vagos were expanding in the San Jose area?
A. They were.
Q. Had that caused some problems with the Hells Angels?
A. Yes. Hells Angels didn’t want them there. The Hlls Angels in northern California are very big. The Hells Angels felt the Vagos were coming into their territory. It is like you have a home. You have an acre of land. That is your land. They have been there for some years.
They claim that territory. Like taking a house and putting it on the corner of your lot. That is the way they feel about it in laymen’s terms. This is our house. Just don’t move into our territory. It is going to create problems. Well, it has been creating problems forever.
A lot of people…this is not the first incident that this has happened.
This has been building up, building up. Big Mike, Lake County got beat merciless in a casino. But he was the one who was provoking the Hells Angels over there telling them they were scum bags, they are pigs, all these things. They came and beat his ass. There was another Vagos with him named Chris from Lake County who was a Secretary. They didn’t touch him because he wasn’t a big mouth. So with all that said, then you have the incident in Bakersfield. I don’t know if you know about the incident in Bakersfield. An 18 year old young man was stabbed right through his body by Diego who was a Hells Angels.
Q. The victim was a Vagos?
A. Victim was a Vagos. His father brought him in. He was an 18 year old kid. Now that was also provoked by the Vagos motorcycle club. He said go up in, a 18 year old young man who was getting patched. The Bylaws, an 18 year old is not suppose to come into this club. For some reason his father, being in the position he was, their rules were changed a little bit. But the kid was killed, and he was stabbed twice in the back. So the man went on trial, but it got self-defense on the Hells Angels. They walked away. But Vagos provoked it. They provoked that one, too. Lied about it at first. It was provoked. So then the point being, there has been some ongoing animosity and problems between the Vagos and Hell Angels. Arizona. This is all stuff that just happened within the last, you know, year and a half, two years. Arizona there was a pack going to a party. Hells Angels came out, six guys shooting on the Vagos on the bikes, shooting on them. They weren’t very good shots, I hate to say. When the Vagos came up on them, they shot three of their guys. You know, one was critical. This is a situation that is ongoing. And because of this particular event and, you know, Pettigrew.
Q. We can probably leave it there I am sure as far as this case goes.
A. Okay. Yes?
A. GRAND JUROR: How long is someone in the higher hierarchy? If you are a Vice President, is it a year term, four years, until they vote you out?
THE WITNESS: You can stay there. You are pretty much there as long as you want to be. There is a vote that happens, but most of the time in the vote, people don’t like to be in an officer position because an officer position is the one that gets hit the most, you know, from all sanctions, whether it be National or law enforcement. They go after a lot of the hierarchy, you know, the Presidents, Vice Presidents, Secretaries, all that. So in order to become, you know, an officer in a club, you have got to really think hard in order to do that. But, yes, he could be there for a very long time. But if the time period comes, he could became a Nomad and do what he wants to do.
THE FOREMAN: Do we have any other questions? Sir, the proceedings before the Grand Jury are secret. You may not disclose evidence presented to the Grand Jury, any event occurring or statement made in the presence of the Grand Jury, any information obtained by the Grand Jury or the result of the investigation being made by the Grand Jury. However, you may disclose the above information to the District Attorney for use in the performance of his duties. You may also disclose your knowledge concerning the proceedings when directed by a court in connection with judicial proceeding or when otherwise permitted by the court to your own attorney. The obligation of secrecy applies until the Court allows the matter to become public record. A gross misdemeanor and contempt of court may be pursued if your obligation of secrecy is not followed. Do you understand?
THE WITNESS: I understand.
THE FOREMAN: Thank you.
THE WITNESS: Thank you.