Suspect Arrested in Killing of City of San Jose Employee, Hells Angels President

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.’’


  1. Just to let you all know, Jeffrey Pettigrew was illegally in possession of a loaded firearm when he was shot. He was an outlaw biker crook…. CSJ should have laid him off last year

    • If every government employee were let go for breaking the law nothing would ever get done.

      Hell, cops break the law and the city pays the lawyer fees AND the settlement.

      Nice try Jack.

  2. Stays in Vegas. Their crime, their problem. As long as he was not caught packing in SJ, that is their issue and not for anyone to tear down in SJ. If he was found to be a crook in SJ, then SJ would deal with that…but he wasn’t, so you really need to mind your own business. I have no affiliations or cares. I’m just an average citizen who thinks what he did in Vegas was none of your business.

    • So, if somebody molests a child in Vegas, then the City of San Jose should turn a blind eye to it because it happened in Vegas?  A crook is a crook no matter where they ply their trade.  There is no such thing as a sanctuary city for heinous criminals and Pettigrew was in fact one.  Just because the city didn’t have the cajones to address his off-duty behavior doesn’t condone it.

      • We are talking about carrying a gun. No one said anything about a child. Know where YOUR mind is. God forbid, if he had hurt a child, it still would have been in Vegas and that would be their problem. There would have been nothing SJPD could have done about it in SJ, except monitor him more closely. You are correct that a crook is a crook, no matter where they ply their trade; however, he did nothing in San Jose. His crime would have been in Vegas. If he would have been convicted in vegas for such a crime, then the felony conviction could cost him his job in San Jose…but he wasn’t…so mind your own business and stop slandering a dead man who can’t speak up for himself. If he was such a heinous criminal, he would have been behind bars. The man is dead.

        • I find it pathetic that you would not only try and stand up for a person who was the head of a recognized criminal enterprise but to try and say that when people commit crimes in other cities, nobody in their home city should care is disgusting.  Is that where our societal morals have gone?  That we would be willing to turn a blind eye to people’s activities everywhere but at home?  You are truly revolting in your defense of the Hells Angels and talk about twisted logic.  I suppose next you will tell us not to speak evil of Hitler just because he is dead too.  There are many people in the world who never get caught and who never serve a day in jail.  That doesn’t mean they are bastions of morality.  You are one sick puppy.

        • “That we would be willing to turn a blind eye to people’s activities everywhere but at home?”

          What could have been done to that man, in San Jose, for carrying a weapon in Las Vegas? Explain that to me.

          I find it pathethic that you would slander this dead man when you don’t know a damn thing about him. You don’t know a damn thing about me, either. I probably have a lot more morals than you ever would. If my suspicion is correct, I’m probably in the same profession as you, so don’t judge my morals, unless you know me.

          What I said is that it is nobody’s business that he was carrying a weapon in Las Vegas. Had he been carrying a weapon in San Jose, that would have been different. Something could have been done about that. Why would you worry about something you can’t do anything about? Please tell me what you would or could legally do to that man for carrying a weapon in Las Vegas. Nothing! So why put down his name just because he was a Hells Angel…and believe me, I have no love for them. Is it because of the “H A” word. Sterotyping are ya? He belongs to the Hell’s Angels so he must be a heinous criminal? Par for the course. It’s people like you who have broken down good fences. Comparing this man to Hitler? ROFLMAO. Why not focus your attention on crimes that happen in San Jose and take care of those issues. Let Las Vegas handle what they need to handle. There is nothing you can do about it. In summary, I am saying why slander this dead man’s name when there is absolutely nothing you can do about what he did in Vegas. Why waste your time caring about that? He’s gone.

        • Hello, this didn’t happen in Vegas but in the greater Reno area. Second, you’re really a bag of rocks. Not sure what’s going up there within your head, but a criminal is a criminal no matter where he is or what law he is breaking within a specific jurisdiction. Local laws may not cross borders, but ethical fortitude does. So, just because Osama Bin Laden (past tense) was in another country we in the USA should “turn a blind eye” to his crimes… Negative, you’re a mess…

        • First, yes just because he is a Hells Angel does mean that he is a criminal.  This group is not filled with “motorcycle enthusiasts” as they claim and nobody here but the most gullible or HA supporters are swallowing that giant lie.  Second, you completely dodged the analogy of being a child molester by changing the scenario.  I didn’t say he was a child molester but used it as an example of why it doesn’t matter where you are, but what you do.  If you don’t get it that a person’s integrity, morals and character count no matter where you are, then that is nobodies fault but your own.  Third, I didn’t compare him to Hitler, again this was to illustrate a point that being dead doesn’t automatically mean that people should not say negative things about that person.  You really need to take some debate classes or reading comprehension courses if you are going to argue in public.

          You also apparently don’t know the definition of “slander” as well.  Slander is “a malicious, false, and defamatory statement”.  The mere fact that he was the president of a group that every law enforcement agency on the planet defines as violent organized crime completely removes any “slander” allegations.

          If that isn’t enough, a simple Google search of events surrounding HA behavior would convince even the most skeptical of persons that this group is nothing but a bunch of criminals.  You can’t defame somebody with a sterling reputation and I would challenge you to prove definitively that the HA are not a criminal enterprise.  I bet for every post you could make lauding some HA member I could reply with thousands more that illustrate exactly who they are. 

          But, you go ahead and keep trying to justify their existence.  The readers can make up their own minds.

        • Reno, Vegas, wherever…it still was not in this jurisdiction.

          ” a criminal is a criminal no matter where he is or what law he is breaking within a specific jurisdiction. Local laws may not cross borders, but ethical fortitude does.”

          So ethical fortitude is causing you to label this man as a heinous criminal??? I’m not disputing that a criminal is a criminal; however, a criminal is a criminal when he/she is proven to be so. Whatever happened to “innocent until proven guilty”? Is this what America has come to…people like you who judge without fact? Guilty until proven innocent? Is that it? Are those the rules you go by…and you speak of morals and “ethical fortitude.” You are a shame to your profession. You have called this man a heinous criminal. Please share with me what he did. I would like to know. Prove your point. Go ahead. You have my attention. Has he ever been arrested or convicted in San Jose…or anywhere for that matter? If he has, then I beg your pardon. Or—have you judged him simply because he was a member of a notorius gang? Has he been in trouble in San Jose? Evidence is based on fact and until you have that fact, your words are nothing but fluff. Morals, ethics???? I’m laughing at you. And…we are NOT talking about your simple analogies…bin laden, hitler or this gang member molesting little girls. But since you brought it up…bin laden mastermined crimes in our jurisdiction and we dealt with that. Your analogy has no bearing on what we are talking about. We are talking about a man killed in Nevada and found with a weapon on his person. No criminal history…no felony convictions. No documentation on bad behavior. From what I have read, he was a model employee and well liked. I know of little old ladies who have carried derringers because they felt they needed protection from society. Are they heinous criminals, too?  We both know he was not a little old lady and we both know that there were probably other reasons why he was carrying that weapon. Maybe he felt he needed protection amongst so many bad elements. Maybe he has two personalities…good guy, bad guy, who knows. My point being…that is all that you have and based on that and the fact is is a member of the Hells Angels…you have called him a heinous criminal. No need to speak to me like I don’t know the law. I can tread circles around you. Like I said in a previous post, I know that a criminal is a criminal….however, until you can base his criminality on fact, which you have not done, then you have nothing. I hope you don’t deal with the public like this…guilty until proven innocent. Now, I am done “talking” to you, as it is a waste of my time to keep up the back and forth. You don’t have a bag of rocks in YOUR head. Your head is solid bone. I don’t know how you breathe. Now go put down people with tatoos. Oh, wait…he probably had those, too!

        • In 1997 he was arrested for felony possession of a deadly weapon/narcotis and booked into the Santa Clara County Jail…. Public record forom the Sheriff’s Office…. The last five hours you took to write that comment has been a boondoggle. You asked, there’s your answer. Point proven

        • Let’s change the organization to NAMBLA.  You know, the North American Man Boy Love Association.  The group that advocates older men having sex with young under age boys.  Now, are you going to tell me that just because a NAMBLA member doesn’t have an arrest record that this means the person should never be judged? You just don’t get it do you? 

          The Hells Angels are a criminal organization by anybody but their own standards.  This isn’t speculation, this isn’t guessing, this is fact supported by documented actions.  But, according to your logic, just because NAMBLA advocates having illegal sex with minors, nobody should judge any member unless they actually get caught doing it.  Being a proponent of illegal activity is irrelevant until you are arrested and convicted.  What a twisted sense of morality you have.

          If any person chooses willingly to be a member of a group that commits heinous crimes, they most certainly can be judged by their fellow human beings.  All people judge.  All people make decisions about other people’s character.  And, they do it based upon what they say, what they do, what they advocate, what the people they affiliate with say and do, and most certainly what everybody knows to be true about their associates.  You can rationalize it all day long, just like the HA do when they stop selling meth and do a toy run but nobody is buying it.  Epic fail on an epic level.

        • The point I was trying to make…you don’t go putting bad labels on people just because of their affilliation…until you have proof. You had to look that up. Up to that point, you…or someone said ALL Hell’s Angels are criminals, without knowing anything about him or if he had been arrested, or not. No different than someone calling your child a thief because he/she was with a group of kids that got caught shoplifting. What I was looking for was fact and you have proven that, so I am satisfied with that. Under those circumstances, I’m not sure how he kept his job.

          What I wrote was not a boondoggle at all. It made you dig for proof to make your point. Up to that point, myself and many others reading this bantering would have still been wondering. There is nothing like fact. Without it…you have nothing but fluff.

  3. In government PC speak, a Hells Angel is now a “motorcycle enthusiast”!!

    The various biker gangs nationwide control the vast majority the meth manufacturing and distribution in the entire USA.  If the deceased “motorcycle enthusiast” was a chapter preisdent, chances are he’s involved with meth manufacturing and distribution. 

    Let’s say an individual is a “sex-with-six-year-old-boys enthusiast” and a chapter president of NAMBLA.  By Mr. Larsen’s reasoning, as long as he did his job, that’s cool with him.

  4. As you know, we have a gang problem in San Jose and it’s about to get worse. But the real outlaw gang members are the mayor, city manager and five council members.
    This city in shambles because of them!

    Pettigrew would of run the city better.

    • Meth clubs instead of pot clubs, that should bring in far more revenue.  And, the HA would skim the profits and provide “security” as well.  Maybe we can get them to work the doors at the Shark Tank, hell they did such a bang up job at the Altamont….

  5. Wow….How can people that don’t know an individual personally, condemn him on so many different levels? As for begging for ice water…Jethro was a true believer in God, and I for one am so glad God will be his judge, and not the bias, uninformed few here….Go to his guest book, this man truely touched peoples lives with love, kindness and compassion. I find that people who judge others harshly, have alot of ugly secrets of their own…..

  6. Jack Mason and Johnmichael O’Connor are the only ones making any sense on this page. CSJ is corrupt and bankrupt. My taxes go to pay for a gang banging felon CSJ employee. Hell No! Wake up Sheeple.

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