Calif. Police Provide Heavy Presence at Hell's Angel Funeral

SAN JOSE, Calif.


Police were out in force at a San Jose cemetery Saturday morning, acting as security at a private funeral for a murdered Hell's Angel.

A police spokesman wouldn't say exactly how many police officers would be at the Oak Hill Cemetery during the gravesite funeral service for 52-year-old Steve Tausan, 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 who was shot and killed at the Oak Hill cemetery two weeks ago during 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 say 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. A week ago, police surrounded a home in Stockton that they thought Ruiz was hiding in but by the time police entered the house, Ruiz was gone.

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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