San Jose police will commit more security this weekend to the funeral of a Hells Angels member who was shot dead two weeks prior in the same cemetery he is set to be buried.
The funeral of Steve Tausan, a San Jose bail bondsmen, stems from internal and external feuds between motorcycle clubs. Tausan, a sergeant at arms of the Santa Cruz chapter of the Hells Angels, was allegedly shot by Hells Angels member Steve Ruiz during a dispute among club members that broke out during the funeral of Jeffrey Pettigrew, formerly the president of the San Jose chapter. Pettigrew was also a San Jose city employee.
Ruiz is reportedly on the run with his girlfriend.
Reuters reports that the slew of violence that has left two Hells Angels members dead and one evading the law stems from a violent squabble in January 2010 between the Vagos motorcycle club and Hells Angels at a downtown Santa Cruz Starbucks. The two clubs reportedly clashed over who would be allowed to hang out at the coffee shop.
Following the outburst at Starbucks, violence between the clubs continued last year with a gunfight in August that left five people wounded and 27 arrested in Chino Valley, Ariz.
Pettigrew was shot to death last month at a casino in Sparks, Nev., and an argument between Tausan and Ruiz at Pettigrew’s funeral, reportedly over Ruiz’s failure to protect Pettigrew, resulted in Tausan’s death.
San Jose police conducted a raid of a Stockton home last week but Ruiz was nowhere to be found.
Both Ruiz and Tausan were among several thousand mourners at Pettigrew’s funeral, and initially police thought Ruiz’s body might have been buried along with Pettigrew. The grave was excavated but nothing was found other than Pettigrew’s coffin.