Biker Gang Accused of Confronting Group in SUV with Guns, Knives
Wondering what you guys think about this one... Happened a few months back .... Audio and transcript of 911 call included in next post...
Biker gang accused of confronting group in SUV with guns, knives
Sep 9, 2010
By Connor Ramey
A Labor Day celebration turned terrifying Saturday for a group of family and friends after the Professional Bull Riders event. While traveling to a house across the road from the Bolado Park, they were held at gunpoint by suspected members of the Vagos Motorcycle Club, who are in the middle of a violent conflict with the Hell's Angels, authorities confirmed.
The reported incident prompted Sheriff Curtis Hill to lash out at biker gangs and also at prospects of a revived Hollister Motorcycle Rally, referring to the tradition as a "pain in the (expletive)" and noting how supporters of the idea need to "cut that (expletive) out" due to the "criminal activities" such groups promote.
City officials in 2008 canceled the Hollister Motorcycle Rally with the high cost of law enforcement and lacking revenues to offset it.
Saturday's incident occurred after the fourth annual PBR event at Bolado Park. The sheriff's office knew before the incident that the Vagos members were using Bolado Park for a Labor Day weekend party, so the department had been paying closer attention to the area, Hill said. The Vagos gang members were on high alert due to a recent violent confrontation with the Hell's Angels in Arizona, the sheriff said.
Out-of-county resident Terri Beam, three teenage girls (including Beam's daughter) and Beam's two adult sons were pulling into the driveway of her father's home around 10:30 p.m., Beam said in a phone interview with the Free Lance. Eight people pointed knives and guns at the Chevy Tahoe while demanding them to get out of the vehicle.
Beam said the bikers did not demand money or anything else, and only made them get out of the sport utility vehicle. It is unclear what motive the suspected Vagos members may have had in targeting those particular residents.
The men stopped the Chevy Tahoe in the driveway and pointed guns at each person in the car, screaming profanities at them, Beam said. The bikers ordered the passengers to leave the vehicle.
Eventually, the bikers allowed the SUV to pass after "several minutes of pleading," she said. The family called 911 and told dispatchers about the incident.
Sheriff's office spokesman Lt. Roy Iler said the victims of the incident called dispatchers, but requested that deputies did not make contact with them. Iler said investigators followed up by calling the reporting party to try and obtain more details.
"They were not really cooperating fully," he said.
Said the sheriff: "I can't send my deputies out there (to confront the suspected culprits) to blow things up on a misdemeanor when the crime wasn't committed in our presence."
The issue? Without a report or witness, deputies would have no suspects, Hill said.
Beam and the vehicle passengers didn't know they needed to press charges for the sheriff's deputies to search the area, Beam said. Those in the car didn't want to identify the biker gang members who pointed the guns due to fear of retribution, Beam said.
A lot of the tension, meanwhile, may have been rooted in a shooting incident last month in Chino Valley, Ariz.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Vagos gang has about 300 members in 24 chapters in California, Hawaii, Nevada and Oregon. They are known to produce and distribute methamphetamine and marijuana, according to the DOJ, which claims the group has been involved in murder and weapons violations.
An Aug. 21 shootout there between members of the Vagos and Hell's Angels led to 27 arrests and five bullet-related injuries, with nearly 50 rounds fired, Hill said.
"I spent my whole weekend worrying that we had Vagos in town and they were in a battle with the Hell's Angels," Hill said.
The sheriff's office contacted the bikers earlier in the weekend, after the park manager asked them to, and warned the members, Hill said. The bikers responded by saying they won't take part in illegal activities.
"If I have a biker in Hollister breaking the law he is going to jail," Hill said. "Honestly, they all need to go to prison - all of them."
But the issue with the incident at Bolado Park was that the family wanted to know why the space was rented out to the biker gang in the first place, Hill said.
"This is an unfortunate situation that a law-abiding citizen had to have someone point a gun in their face, but this a free country and they have a right to be at that park," Hill said. "This is why the biker rally is a pain in the (expletive)."
A resident out of San Francisco, who told the park manager he was going to have a large group of people at the park, rented out the area across the road from Bolado Park, Hill said. That resident turned out to be a Vago member, he said.
Hill continually referenced the downside of a biker rally in relation to the incident.
"This is why the biker rally needs to be shut down forever," Hill said. "There is always going to be a criminal element. And all the people in Hollister who want to bring it back need to cut that (expletive) out."
Hill said that if the group inside the Chevy Tahoe wanted to report the incident and wanted to identify suspects, the department "would have been there in heartbeat."
"At some point you have to say I need to do something," Hill said.
Connor Ramey is a staff writer for the Free Lance. You can reach him by email or at (831) 637-5566.
Re: Biker Gang Accused of Confronting Group in SUV with Guns, Knives
The San Benito County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday released audio of 911 conversations from a woman's report Sept. 4 alleging that outlaw bikers held her, along with family and friends, at gunpoint outside Bolado Park after the Professional Bull Riders event. Sheriff's officials later confirmed the suspected gang members were believed to be part of the Vagos Motorcycle Club.
The audio recordings released to the Free Lance included two conversations between out-of-county resident Terri Beam, the reporting party, and dispatchers who handled the calls. Beam initially called 911 around 10:30 p.m. and called again about 45 minutes later to check on the report. The first call was just over five minutes. The second was just under two minutes.
The sheriff's office also released audio of five other brief conversations relating to the matter.
In the first recording the night before the incident, Sgt. Tom Keylon told a dispatcher that Bolado Park Manager Kelley Ferreira had expressed concerns. "They've been blocking people from going in to the main road so they can't get to their houses," Keylon said in the recording. He went on to conclude, "just so you know, in case it goes to (expletive)."
The remaining, brief recordings included other communication between deputies and dispatchers in following up on Beam's report, along with another neighbor's call the following day after the incident again expressing concern.
Below is a transcript of the first 911 conversation between Beam and dispatchers. It begins briefly with one dispatcher transferring to another. After that is the second call between the dispatcher - the one who talked to Beam - and Keylon. The third one is Beam's second 911 call.
First 911 call: Beam and dispatchers
Dispatcher: Hi, I've got Terri Beam on the line from Little Bolado Park on 25. She's advising there's outlaw motorcycle gangs and they have weapons.
Dispatcher: Mam, where are you?
Terri Beam: We got through because my father lives up the hill from that, but trying to get through to Little Bolado Park, a moto ...
Dispatcher: What's Little Bolado Park?
Beam: It's straight across the street from Bolado Park on Highway 25. And, umm, there's a motorcycle group that is in there. And earlier in the day when we went through, they were amicable, but tonight when we went through, tried to get through to get back to my father's house, they pulled weapons on us. And ...
Dispatcher: What kind of weapons did they pull on you?
Beam: I have no idea. They had rifles, so, and handguns.
Dispatcher: They pulled rifles and handguns on you? They pointed them at you?
Beam: Oh yeah. They finally let us through, but it was very scary and I had children in the car. So I just want somebody to check out the situation.
Dispatcher: Did you want to file a report or anything?
Beam: I wouldn't even know where to begin. I mean, they let us through. But it was, somebody needs to check out the situation.
Dispatcher: If they pointed weapons at you, that's a crime. I mean, I can have a deputy contact you if you'd like.
Beam: Yeah, that would be good.
A child in the background says "Oh my gosh."
Beam: Because they were telling us to shut the (expletive) up, and that was not a good situation.
Dispatcher: How many of them were there?
Beam: Oh, well, there was a whole gang at that park.
Dispatcher: How many had weapons pointed at you?
Beam: Umm, I think there was only one.
At this point, she asks someone in the party, how many had weapons? A female voice answers, "I think five to eight."
Beam: Five to eight people had weapons, so somebody needs to check out that situation.
Dispatcher: No, I agree with that, absolutely, we'll check it out. But I need to, I mean, you seem unsure about how many people were pointing guns at you. Are you?
Beam: Correct, well, you know, we were, we were, umm. OK, yeah, one guy was pointing a gun at us. I remember one.
Dispatcher: OK, was it a rifle or a handgun? Because you said it was a handgun.
Beam: It was a rifle. It was a rifle, yeah.
At this point the dispatcher asks for her name and contact information. The dispatcher asks for the address where she is calling from. Beam asks family members for the address.
Beam: What's Papa's address (asking someone in the party)? Oh, shoot. It's my dad's address. I've got to figure it out. Well, it's the same as Little Bolado Park. What's Papa's address? I'm not sure of the address. Dad, what's your address here?
There are several delays. Someone in the background asks her father for his address.
Beam: We're trying to figure that out. Because I'm just visiting.
Beam comes back to the report matter and asks the dispatcher, "Is anybody on their way out there? I mean, the situation's (her word is muffled)."
Dispatcher: Not right now. Mam, we have emergencies all over town right now. We're trying, but, so far, I don't even have enough to send my deputies to, because they wouldn't be fit at this point. They would have more questions to ask. But I need to know where to send them.
Beam again asks family members for her father's address. She tells someone else it is regarding the people who "pulled guns on us."
Beam: Right now, I don't know the address. But I'm just saying that Little Bolado Park right now is a scary place.
Dispatcher: I completely understand that, but if you're wanting to file a report.
Beam: I don't want to file any reports. I want it to be just taken care of. I just want somebody out there. I mean, I don't know what filing a good report would be.
Dispatcher: OK, so you're not wanting any contact from a deputy, at this point?
Beam: No (she sighs), I just want somebody to go out there and check that out.
Dispatcher: That's fine. Thank you.
Second 911 call: Dispatcher and sheriff's sergeant
Keylon: Hey, it's Keylon.
Dispatcher: Hey, umm, we got a call from this lady down in Tres Pinos, like just past Bolado. She said that, umm, she was passing through, and the bikers stopped her, about eight of them brandished guns at her. Umm, they finally let her pass, but she was upset. She's requesting no contact now, though.
Keylon: OK. Did she, what did they stop her for?
Dispatcher: They said they just stopped her on the road because she was trying to get to her dad's house, who lives up the road, from, I guess, she said Little Bolado Park.
Keylon: That's where they're camping.
Dispatcher: OK. And, umm, I mean her story was super sketch and kept changing, but, umm, yeah, she said, that, I think she ended up saying one of them had the gun pointed at her is a rifle, and others had rifles and handguns. And then, umm, she wouldn't tell, she couldn't tell me her address, and then said that she didn't want contact anymore.
Keylon: All right, go ahead and clear it for now. I'm not going to send guys in to 100 of the Vagos.
Dispatcher: Yeah, all righty.
Keylon: OK, thank you.
Third 911 call: Beam with dispatcher
Dispatcher: Sheriff's office dispatch.
Beam: Hello. This is the sheriff's department?
Dispatch: This is dispatch, mam. What are you reporting?
Beam: I'm just following up on a report that I made and I want to find out, umm, because I'm worried about our safety. We made a report about an incident at Little Bolado Park on Highway 25, and, umm, in a situation where we had to get through to go up the hill and they pulled guns on us.
Dispatch: OK, you're the, are you the lady who didn't want to talk to anybody?
Beam: I'm the person that made the contact, yeah.
Dispatcher: OK, so you didn't want contact from the deputy, correct?
Beam: I have not had contact with what has happened so far. But we just want to follow up on it.
Dispatcher: OK, do you want a deputy to contact you?
At this point the dispatcher asks her for contact information and asks for her father's address. Beam gives the information and the address.
Dispatcher: OK, and earlier when you called, mam, did you tell the dispatcher that you did not want contact from a deputy at that time? Is that what?
Beam: No, I did not say that. I wanted. Yeah, no, we need contact to know that we're safe.
Dispatcher: OK, and this occurred, you said, at Bolado Park, correct?
Beam: And when I called back a little while ago they said they had people out there. So I just wanted to follow up on that and see what was going on, because we had guns pulled on us.
Dispatcher: OK, we'll have somebody give you a call.