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CALIFORNIA - Driver who dragged Hells Angel booked for murder

OFF THE WIRE
SAN LEANDRO -- Investigators were trying to figure out Sunday why the driver of a paratransit van, who according to his company had no criminal record, allegedly ran over and killed a member of the Hells Angels before dragging his chopper for a mile.
Eddie Hall, 31, of Oakland was booked on suspicion of murder and felony hit-and-run after Saturday's grisly collision, which left bits and pieces of motorcycle strewn across the eastbound lanes of Interstate 580 in San Leandro, forcing the temporary closure of the freeway.
"It appeared to be intentional on the van driver's part, based on physical evidence at the scene and witness accounts," San Leandro police Lt. Greg Lemmon said Sunday.
"There is no motive established. We don't know for sure why the driver chose to take the action that he did. It is extremely odd. In my 25 years, I have never seen anything like this."
The victim was pronounced dead Saturday night at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley. Authorities have not released his name, while representatives of the Hells Angels identified him only as George, of the California Nomads.
Hall was driving alone in the van at about 4 p.m. Saturday, Lemmon said, when he pulled alongside a group of six to eight motorcyclists near the Grand Avenue on-ramp. A Hells Angels spokesman said the group of riders was on its way to the Oakland chapter office for a get-together.
Witnesses told police that Hall suddenly swerved into the same lane as the motorcyclists, clipping one and forcing the others to skid and swerve out of the way. The victim fell into the path of the van, which dragged him for a while, Lemmon said.
The motorcycle got lodged in the front area of the van and was dragged for about a mile, before it burst into flames, Lemmon said.
Hall pulled to the freeway shoulder near the 150th Avenue on-ramp, left the van and the burning bike, jumped over a fence and fled into a residential area of San Leandro, Lemmon said. He admitted he was the driver of the van after he was captured by Alameda County sheriff's deputies, Lemmon said.

There was no evidence of a confrontation before the incident, and "there is nothing in our investigation that would lead us to believe that the Hells Angels were chasing this suspect," he said.
Several other motorcycles in the group were damaged - struck by the van or by flying motorcycle parts, police said.
A Hells Angels representative, who declined to be identified, said the van driver became enraged because he believed the motorcyclists had cut him off.
"It wasn't an accident, clearly," the representative said. "It was road rage."
Maureen Richmond, a spokeswoman for First Transit, which operates the paratransit vans for East Bay Paratransit, said Hall was put through a thorough background check when he was hired in February, and had no convictions or even tickets on his record.
"He has been a fine employee with us," Richmond said. "There was nothing to indicate that anything like this would occur."
The grisly incident marked the latest in a series of high-profile deaths involving the notorious motorcycle gxxg. Hells Angels member Steve Tausan was shot and killed Oct. 15 during a funeral in San Jose for another club member who had been gunned down in Nevada.
San Jose police on Saturday searched a home in Stockton for Tausan's alleged killer, 38-year-old Steve Ruiz, who is also a member of the Hells Angels. They did not find him.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/10/23/BAEP1LLBTH.DTL&tsp=1

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