Seventeen individuals entered not guilty pleas on Monday to charges related to an attack on three Black men by members of the Hells Angels biker gang in San Diego earlier this year, according to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office. The victims, aged 19, 20, and 21, were pursued and assaulted in San Diego’s Ocean Beach neighborhood on June 6. Prosecutors stated that the victims were subjected to racial slurs and told they did not belong there.
One of the victims managed to escape unharmed by fleeing, while another was punched, kicked, and rendered unconscious. The third victim was beaten by other bikers before being stabbed in the chest by a Hells Angels leader. However, the victim survived the attack. On September 13, a grand jury indicted 14 individuals for their alleged involvement in the assault, including an accusation that it was carried out in association with a criminal street gang. The grand jury also included hate crime allegations against 11 of the defendants.
The alleged gang leader, accused of the stabbing, is facing the most serious charge of attempted murder. Additionally, the grand jury added three more defendants who are charged with being accessories after the fact for allegedly assisting in driving the leader away from the scene. District Attorney Summer Stephan emphasized that violence and racism would not be tolerated in San Diego County.
All 17 defendants were arrested on September 21 and appeared in court on Monday to enter their pleas. The charges they face carry potential sentences ranging from three years to life in prison. The trial has been scheduled for November 14.