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Funeral for murdered Hells Angel set for Saturday

Thursday, 27 October 2011

 

A funeral will be held on Saturday at the Oak Hill Cemetery for a Hells Angel member two weeks after he was shot to death there at a funeral for a fellow murdered Hells Angels leader. The difference, though, is that whereas the funeral for Jeffrey Pettigrew -- the 51-year-old president of the Hells Angels' San Jose chapter who was killed at a casino resort in Sparks, Nev. last month -- drew anywhere from 1,500 to 3,000 people, mostly consisting of Hells Angels members or other motorcycle gang members, 52-year-old Steve Tausan's funeral will be by invitation only. "We're hoping it will be a fewer number of individuals so it will be more manageable for us," said police spokesman Officer Jose Garcia. He said the Police Department is varying its approach to this funeral to some extent, mainly by having additional officers at the funeral. "We're going to do the same thing as last time," he said. "We're going to approach it the same way as far as being on the outside of the cemetery." He would not say how many officers will be at the funeral or whether any would be in plainclothes. Police said Tausan was shot on the afternoon of Oct. 15 by Steven Ruiz, 33, of San Jose, a member of the Hells Angels' San Jose chapter who was initially believed to have been killed, but police have confirmed he is alive and "still on the run." They say he is with a female acquaintance, Christel Renee Trujillo, who also goes by the last name Ferguson. Ruiz is suspected of killing Tausan during an altercation at the Oak Hill Cemetery on Curtner Avenue, and then mysteriously disappearing, leaving behind his motorcycle. Several Hells Angels members "destroyed evidence," and were uncooperative or confrontational with police, hampering the investigation, police said. Officers who had been stationed outside the cemetery for security purposes made their way through the crowd, but once they got to the crime scene, they found it had been "tampered with," Garcia said. Someone at the funeral had taken Tausan to a hospital by the time the officers arrived. Tausan had been shot at least once and died of his injuries at the hospital, Garcia said. Officers searched Pettigrew's grave, but didn't recover anything that could be considered as evidence, police said. They did not open Pettigrew's coffin. Police have obtained a Ramey warrant for Ruiz's arrest. He is considered armed and dangerous and Trujillo's life may be in danger, police said. Police believe Ruiz has two black eyes and other facial injuries. Ruiz and Trujillo may be traveling in a gold or pewter Chevrolet Suburban. Ruiz has family in Arizona and New York who he may attempt to contact, police said. He is possibly heading out of state, Garcia said today.

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A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

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