The old man likes to go to the OMTI bar; he is a regular there. (“I usually chase women, drink tequilas.”) He is probably six feet tall and sturdily built, with a mustache and a long white beard. His thinning hair rests on his neck in a ponytail.
This is the old man’s version of the story: that Friday night, when that pretty lady refused his last drink and left, he moved right along to another woman. This other woman sat at the bar next to him and “said she was 39” and that “she was a nurse.” The old man had been at the bar maybe an hour and a half by then.
Then these two guys, who were strangers to him, asked if he could help them start their bike. It was an old motorcycle with a magneto. The old man was reluctant to leave his new female find, but he let the strangers talk him into going outside to help with the bike.
Outside, the old man was accused of being a member of the Mongol motorcycle club. “I was kinda shocked, being accused of something like that.” The Hells Angels and Mongols are fierce enemies; they have well-publicized shootouts in which people die. “I told him that I wasn’t no fucking Mongol, never have been, never will be.”
“I asked him where the bike was,” the old man remembered. “That’s when they hit me with a pistol upside the head.” He said he remembered the feel of metal.
“It knocked me out cold. Broke my glasses.”
The old man said he has been knocked out before. “I used to like to fight. But I wasn’t hurt. Just bruised up a little bit.”
He didn’t sound too shocked about getting punched out in the alley, but he was embarrassed that he’d been tricked into going outside to get “thumped.”
“It’s no big deal, you know. I got up.”
Some days later, he phoned the police department to tell them he did not want to press charges. “We already had the problem solved. I wanted it over with, it was done.” He denied being afraid to talk about the confrontation; it had nothing to do with what happens to snitches. “First of all,” he said, “I’m not a snitch.”
But somebody called police that night.
The old man didn’t want to stay outside on the street, talking with police. Even though he had blood on the side of his head, collected around the diamond earring in his left ear, he wanted to hurry back into the bar. He was thinking about that nice nurse. In a courtroom four months later, the jury heard a wiretapped recording of the old man’s voice making a vulgar comment about “mercy” sex, except he used crude language. The nine women and three men in the jury box mostly remained composed.
The Oceanside Police
At least eight police officers responded to the radio call about an assault. Four cops had their guns drawn when they requested that the people inside the blue Ford pickup, which had left the scene, get out.
Officer Nicholas Olsen said Thor came out of the truck first. The cops did not find Thor compliant. “He continually shouted, ‘Come on! Come on! Come on! This is bullshit!’” When Officer Olsen directed Thor to step away from the truck, “he literally, kinda, shuffled and danced and kinda belittled the situation, while I was giving him commands.” The officer said, “It definitely wasn’t amusing.”
Another officer described the “dry stun” treatment they applied to Thor. This involved officers removing the cartridges and darts off a stun gun, so that it could be held against the offender for “two seconds.” Thor cursed the officers as they cuffed him, according to officer Jon Dominique.
Marine Staff Sergeant Wayne and his wife did not require any kind of “stun” treatment after they got out of the truck.
Wayne is not a member of the Hells Angels — they don’t accept active-duty Marines as members.
Around the Fire Pit
After the Friday-night knockout, on the following Tuesday, some men gathered around a fire ring on the patio outside the OMTI bar. There were four members of the Geezers motorcycle club there, including the old man and a couple of Hells Angels “full patch” members. Because word had gotten around that a Hells Angel had beaten up an “83-year-old man,” which sounded bad, it was decided that there would be a meeting.
One Hells Angel member named “Hollywood” asked the old man if he wanted a chance to fight the guy who had hit him. The old man said that he just wanted his $300 glasses replaced. Hollywood, who was wearing a Hells Angels shirt, said he wanted to make sure everything was good between the two clubs, the Hells Angels and the Geezers. According to everybody who was willing to talk, both clubs decided they were all fine about everything.
The trademark logo of the Hells Angels has changed over the years. One of the changes is to the mouth of the winged death’s head which is at the center of the logo. The skull used to have an open mouth with fanglike teeth, but now the mouth is zippered shut. Persons who claim to be experts on the Hells Angels say this is to emphasize the importance of people “keeping their mouths shut.”
There was a trial in San Diego’s North County courthouse in May 2012. The jury could not come to agreement on whether Thor and Wayne had committed an assault on the old man, and the judge declared a mistrial. There was one felony charge of attempting to dissuade a witness brought against “Hollywood,” which was ultimately dismissed.
A month later, plea deals were made.
Staff Sergeant Wayne pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor assault charge. He was sentenced to time already served — the one day that he was arrested.
The prosecutor in this case, Geoff Allard, made special allegations during trial that Thor and Hollywood were part of a “criminal street gang,” the Hells Angels, and that all three defendants acted to “promote” that criminal gang. Much was made during trial of the tattoos on the men, rude bumper stickers associated with the Hells Angels, and their storied reputation.