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CALIFORNIA - Hundreds attend funeral for SJ Hells Angel member

Hundreds attend funeral for SJ Hells Angel member

Hundreds of Hells Angels members gathered in San Jose at the Oak Hill Cemetery Saturday to remember a member who was shot and killed at a funeral for another Hells Angel.
It's not often the word 'hell" is accepted and used with such affection in a church as it was Saturday, but then Hells Angels member Steve Tausan was no ordinary guy.
Inside the church, hundreds said goodbye to the 52-year-old man who was gunned down at the same cemetery two weeks ago.
"He loved the club. Man, did he love the club,” said pastor Dick Bernal. "Steve was a believer. Granted, he left his halo at home most of the time!"
Tausan's pastor and friends described him as an imposing, bigger-than-life physical presence with a heart to match.
"If he didn't like you, you knew right away, and if he loved you, he loved you like family,” said Tausan's friend Ed Mumbert.
Tough men showed openly Saturday just how hard a senseless death can be on the living.
A deafening procession of motorcycles accompanied Tausan back to the same cemetery where he died.
A beefed up force of San Jose police officers kept watch just in case of retaliation.
A police spokesman wouldn't say exactly how many police officers were at the Oak Hill Cemetery, but the department planned to have at least 70 officers standing guard outside the cemetery’s front gates.
Tausan was a high-ranking member of the Santa Cruz Hells Angels Motorcycle Club and was killed while attending the memorial for Jeffrey “Jethro” Pettigrew.
Pettigrew was president of the San Jose chapter of the Hell’s Angels and was killed in September during a shootout between rival motorcycle gangs at a casino in Sparks, Nev.
During Pettigrew’s memorial at Oak Hill Cemetery, police said 38-year-old Steven Ruiz got in an argument with Tausan, which resulted in Ruiz pulling out a gun and shooting Tausan.
Between 3,000-to-4,000 people had attended Pettigrew's service and though several officers were nearby, police said the huge crowd made it difficult to respond to the shooting and apprehend Ruiz
Meanwhile Ruiz was still on the run Saturday. Last weekend police raided a house in Stockton, firing tear gas, but they did not Ruiz.
Police believe Ruiz is on the run with his girlfriend, and that he's armed and dangerous.
The couple may be traveling in a gold or pewter Chevrolet Suburban and headed for Arizona or New York, where Ruiz has relatives.
In contrast to Pettigrew’s memorial, Saturday's funeral service for Tausan was expected to be much smaller since it will be by invitation-only -- a security precaution police say they worked out with Tausan's family ahead of time.

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