FRESNO, CA – Investigators from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office are currently looking into the reason for a gun battle that left one dead and 13 injured at a party. The party was an annual event hosted by a local motorcycle club on Saturday, October 5.
The gathering of roughly 500 took place in Calwa at the Soul Brothers clubhouse. It was reported that when police showed up at the club shots were still being fired.
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Chris Curtice stated that the gun battle started inside the warehouse structure and spilled into the streets shortly afterwards.
At the moment no arrests have been made. When asked if there were any suspects, Curtice said that detectives were “following up several leads.”
While there were some injured partygoers with serious wounds, they are all likely to survive.
In talking to local media, several residents of the area said that they were awakened by the sounds of gunfire and motorcycles. Christina Aranda told ABC affiliate KFSN-TV “As a mother, of course you’re scared to hear gunshots so close to your house, definitely I was scared.”
The dead man at the scene was found inside the clubhouse and identified as Dejuan Gladney (18).
The Soul Brothers—a multi-ethnic biker club originally from East Palo Alto—was formed in 1967. They first moved to Stockton before settling in Fresno. No one from the club spoke on the incident.
Alexien Lien’s SUV ran over Edward Mieses Jr. and left him with spinal injuries. (Photo Credit: Reuters)
NEW YORK, NY – Last weekend’s violence in Fresno isn’t the only example of biker-related violence. Earlier the same week, several bikers in New York City beat a man after he ran over one of their members in his SUV.
Sergio Consuegra stepped in to save Alexian Lien and his wife Rosalyn Ng when bikers pulled Lien from the SUV and beat him. It was reported that Lien ran over Edward Mieses Jr. after the group of bikers began driving aggressively. He attempted to escape and Mieses was hit in the process.
Also in the SUV was their 2-year old child. Consuegra said that after the SUV stopped, members of group of bikers attempt to pull Rosalyn Ng from the vehicle. “She was kind of making some sounds. I saw a baby inside; she had the baby in her arms, I guess she was protecting the baby from all the glass that was flying inside and outside.”
The attackers gave up on pulling Ng from the SUV when several bystanders began screaming at them.
Consuegra was heading to church when he happened upon the incident and got out of his car to help.
“There was more coming, and they felt like they wanted to keep hurting the man – and I felt intense danger at that moment, at that time, and I say to myself, ‘Let me not show these people that I’m here to engage in any kind of confrontation but that I’m here to protect the man and the family, so I’m going to keep it cool.’ That’s what I was thinking,” he said.
Prior to Consuegra’s assistance, Lien was beaten up by six bikers. He received two black eyes and needed stitches for cuts. Edwin Mieses Jr, the man ran over by Lien, received spinal injuries and may not be able to walk again.
Footage of the start of the incident was captured by another biker while the beating was captured by several bystanders.
At the moment, three men have been arrested with the beating. Robert Sims (35) turned himself in on Friday and is accused of beating Lien while Reginald Chance (38) was caught in the video having bashed the SUV’s window out with his helmet. The third, Christopher Cruz (28) was charged with assault and menacing.
It has been reported that the NYPD are looking for six attackers in total.
During Saturday arraignment, Assistant District Attorney Joshua Steinglass told Criminal Court Judge Diana Boyar that Robert Sims could be seen stomping on Alexian Lien’s head. Sims was given $100,000 cash bail.
The two named attackers involved have notable criminal records with Sims’ including car theft, drug possession, and weapon possession—one of which involves a samurai sword. Chance’s charges include 21 arrests for the same crimes.
One of the most significant points of this case is that there was an off-duty officer riding with another biker club known as The Frontline Soldiers. NYPD spokesman John McCarthy said that the officer involved was stripped of his gun and badge until an internal affairs investigation comes to a conclusion.
A spokesman for the NYPD said that it didn’t appear that the officer was involved in the beating.
There were other officers—two detectives and three others—who didn’t step in to help and were riding in the rally. Not only that, but there were a number of corrections officers around.
A narcotics officer chose not to step in as he didn’t want to blow his cover. While the rules state that officers—off duty or on duty—are to report a crime immediately, the rules are somewhat lax and flexible for undercover officers.
According to WABC, in talking with investigators, one biker said that Lien was driving ‘erratically’ and had bumped one of the bikes aside. He also said that “when he bumped that bike on the side, that bike became aggressive because his life was in danger.”