TEMECULA: No arrests in bloody biker brawl on I-15

~~Two Hells Angels were stabbed but won’t talk and witnesses say Mongols were involved.~~

 Two weeks after a bloody brawl among motorcycle riders on the freeway near Temecula left two Hells Angels with stab wounds, no arrests have been made and investigators say the stabbing victims aren’t talking.

The fight blocked northbound traffic on Interstate 15 near the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint about 6 p.m. March 22, and reportedly involved dozens of bikers described by witnesses as Mongols and Hells Angels armed with weapons such as bats and shovels.

By the time officers arrived, the bikers were gone but they found a bloody fight scene and a discarded knife, a Riverside County sheriff’s investigator wrote in search warrant documents. Officers drove north to the Temecula Parkway off-ramp, where they found two motorcyclists.

One of them was wearing Hells Angels clothing and was covered in blood, court records say.

While officers were trying to detain the bikers, a man in an SUV pulled up and identified himself as a Hells Angels chapter president and a friend of the two motorcyclists, Investigator Carlos Topete wrote in court papers. The man collected the injured biker’s bloody Hells Angels vest and some other items, putting them in his SUV, Topete wrote.

The injured rider was taken to a hospital for treatment of eight stab wounds.

While officers were investigating, they learned that another Hells Angel with stab wounds had been taken to Rancho Springs Medical Center in Murrieta. The person who dropped him off was driving a truck with Arizona plates and hauling a utility trailer.

The man, who claimed to be the chapter president, later told investigators that the truck belongs to the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club and is used to transport Hells Angels merchandise.

Sheriff’s investigators confiscated the Hells Angels vehicles for evidence.

Sgt. Kevin McDonald said investigators believe the purported chapter president misrepresented his position with the group and that he is merely an associate.

The victims, both admitted Hells Angels members, have been released from the hospital and have refused to say who is responsible for their injuries, McDonald said.

According to a witness, the conflict between the motorcycle clubs appeared to have started farther south on Interstate 15 in San Diego County.

The witness, a Temecula resident who asked that his name be withheld out of fear for his safety, said he entered the freeway at Highway 76 and noticed a few bikers who appeared to be chasing two Mongols on motorcycles. The Mongols were outnumbered at first, he said, but as they passed Rainbow Valley Boulevard, they were joined by a large group that had been parked off the freeway.

As they passed the checkpoint, dozens of bikers in Mongols clothing surrounded the other bikers, blocking the lanes of traffic. The witness said the men in Mongols Motorcycle Club gear kicked the other men off their bikes. The men pulled out weapons — he saw a hammer, a screwdriver and a crowbar — and began brawling, moving toward the freeway shoulder as they fought, the witness said.

At one point, a pickup hauling a trailer pulled up. The men in the trailer appeared to be holding handguns, he said.

The witness said he called 911 but didn’t stick around long enough to see the stabbings.

“My wife was scared,” he said. “She just wanted us to get out of there. They were still fighting when we left.”

The witness said he couldn’t believe they were openly brawling on the freeway in broad daylight.

Capt. Jeff Kubel, who serves as Temecula police chief and commander of the sheriff’s Southwest Station, said there’s no reason to expect further violence from outlaw motorcycle clubs in the Temecula area. Though it’s still unclear what happened, all indications are that the motorcyclists involved were on their way home from events in San Diego County, he said.

Albert Perez, an attorney who represents the Mongols Motorcycle Club, declined to comment Monday.

Efforts to reach a representative of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club were unsuccessful.

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SARAH BURGE
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