Police have reportedly arrested the man accused of killing Jeffrey Pettigrew, a city employee who was also president of the San Jose chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang.
Pettigrew, who worked for the city of San Jose within the Dept. of Transportation, was shot in the back four times last week at John Ascuaga’s Nugget casino in Sparks, Nevada. Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez, a 53-year-old San Jose native who is part of the rival San Jose-based Vagos motorcycle gang, is alleged to be the killer. Specific motives for the murder are currently unknown, aside from the documented rivalry between the motorcycle gangs.
Gonzalez was spotted acting suspiciously by a UC San Francisco campus police officer while on a routine patrol. The officer asked the man for identification and upon running his name discovered that he was wanted in Nevada in connection with the murder of Pettigrew. Gonzalez is currently incarcerated in the San Francisco jail until his transportation back to Sparks, Nevada for further investigation.
The discovery that the city-employed Pettigrew was not only part of the Hells Angels but the San Jose chapter president was a surprise to some, but unimportant to others.
“We have many employees who are motorcycle enthusiasts,” Hans Larsen, director of the city’s Dept. of Transportation, told the Mercury News. “What they do in their private lives doesn’t concern us as long as it doesn’t affect their work. From what I am hearing he was a nice person with a good attitude, very professional in his work and he did it well.’’