OFF THE WIRE
BY: John Alston
There was heavy security at the funeral service for a Hells Angel biker on Saturday. A fellow biker shot the man to death while the motorcycle club was laying to rest another member.
The Hells Angels motorcycle gang gathered to remember Steve Tausan, 52, at Oak Hill Cemetery in San Jose. Meanwhile, police are still looking for the member who shot and killed him.
It was the second massive Hells Angels funeral in just two weeks: Another roar of motorcycles along Curtner Avenue in San Jose. This time, the motorcycle gang came to bury Tausan. The last time Tausen was at the Oak Hill Cemetery, he was shot to death at the funeral of another Hells Angels biker.
"They way it went down is not a good thing," said friend Richard Holly. "Sad that it had to go that way. Steve was a very well-known person, very respected amongst the community. A good family man."
Police had a large presence as well, even greater than the last time, although officials wouldn't give numbers. Officers roped off parking lots at the shopping center across from the cemetery, and a credit union opposite Oak Hill's main gate decided not to open today. Customers were instead greeted with a note on the door.
The loud procession of bikers also brought out spectators.
"Like the Blue Angels, the noise it puts out -- perfect," said Sunnyvale resident Larry Kruckenberg.
There was much less commotion than the funeral two weeks ago. Thousands of bikers had gathered at Oak Hill for the burial of Hells Angels member Jeffrey Pettigrew, who was murdered at a Nevada casino.
During Pettigrew's burial, someone shot Tausan. The suspected killer, Steve Ruiz, has still not been captured. A warrant is out for his arrest.
On Saturday, Tausan was laid to rest on a hilltop on the other side of the cemetery from the graveside where he was murdered two Saturdays ago.
"This time, we (were) still focusing on the fact that there might be outside groups coming in to cause problems, although we had no credible information that would occur," said Jose Garcia with the San Jose Police Department. "We also believe that it wasn't beyond possibility that there would be friction among the same group."
Earlier in the day, about a thousand people gathered at the Jubilee Christian Center for a church service before heading to the cemetery. Police didn't say whether or not they had undercover officers inside the cemetery.
The funeral was peaceful and the cemetery was reopened after a few hours of being closed for the private event. Around 2:30 p.m., the bikers left the cemetery without incident.