You have probably heard the news by now about the club incident between suspected Hells Angels and Vagos members in a little town called Chino Valley, AZ. Located just north of Prescott and about 100 miles from Phoenix, members of both clubs live within blocks of one another.
The Northwest region of Arizona has seen this power struggle for almost eight months now as members of each group fight to claim territory.
Last Saturday, around 12:15 p.m., YCSO received many phone calls regarding shots fired at the home in the 2600 block of Yuma Drive. Dwight D’Evelyn, sheriff’s office spokesman, said that upon arrival at the scene, YCSO deputies and Chino Valley police officers began detaining suspected motorcycle club members.
In the late afternoon, TV images showed several dozen men and a few women dressed in biker garb outside a rural home in the Chino Valley area with Harley-Davidson motorcycles parked alongside. Heavily armed law enforcement officers kept them under surveillance. Nearby, several dozen police vehicles blocked roadways into the area, and two men wearing biker garb were in plastic handcuffs.
Hours earlier, at 1:47 p.m., two helicopters circled around the perimeter of the crime scene. About half an hour later, at 2:10 p.m., paramedics who had landed next to the gray home in a Verde Valley Medical Center helicopter could be seen exiting the residence with one person on a stretcher. That person was flown to a Phoenix-area hospital. In total, there were 5 people sent to the hospital, but there were no deaths.
Twenty-seven suspects were arrested and over 50 shell casings collected. As of Wednesday only the names of nine suspects had been released:
John Anthony Bernard, 44 – total of 16 counts filed against him
Kiley Steven Hill, 39 – total of 15 counts filed against him
Robert Edward Kittredge, 36 – total of 8 counts filed against him
Bruce Andrew Schweigert Sr., 46 – total of 8 counts filed against him
Jess Ramirez Flores, 61, of Glendale – total of 5 counts filed against him
Michael Trevor Koepke, 28, of Prescott Valley– total of 3 counts filed against him
Kevin E. Christensen, 50, of Kingman – total of 15 counts filed against him
Brian E. Apfel, 38, of Las Vegas – total of 3 counts filed against him
Larry Dean Scott Jr., 47 – total of 16 counts filed against him
Which motorcycle club the charged suspects belonged to, if any, was not stated. According to Yavapai County Sheriff Deputy Scott Reed, each man is being held on $75,000 bond.
The Yavapai County Attorney requested that 17 defendants be released from the county jail on Tuesday since no felony complaints would be filed against them in this matter at this time.
The Yavapai County Attorney also moved to dismiss without prejudice two other defendants’ cases because there was insufficient evidence to proceed at this time.