said San Francisco attorney Joe Sullivan. "It's two groups of guys yelling at each other. The
fight was not occasioned by colors ... [The prosecution is] just
going to be crushed if they go forward on a gang theory."
Sullivan says his client, Heinrich Dorsch, is innocent of the assault charge as well. In the wee hours of Dec. 18 when Dorsch was arrested, the lawyer says the 23-year-old had one arm in a cast after being hit on his motorcycle by a drunk driver some months ago in San Francisco. The other arm was "un-usable" because of skin grafts. Dorsch also had a plate in his head from suffering brain injury after the accident, added the lawyer.
Both Sullivan and the police agree that the Bay Riders are affiliated with
the Hells Angels. Gang Task Force officer Dan Silver told SF Weekly he believes the Riders provide security for Angels events. Read our original story on the Bay Riders here.
Sullivan claims that the fact that Jonathan O'Keefe, another one of the men charged in the stabbing, was
wearing a Bay Riders jacket at the time of the assault doesn't justify
gang charges. "The victims never even mentioned it," Sullivan said. "It
didn't trigger anything. It's just crap. He could have been wearing a
Silver says the argument didn't have to be about gang issues for it to be a gang-related crime. "If you're wearing a Bay Riders jacket
and assaulting people in a jacket, it benefits the gang," Silver said. "It makes it
look more intimidating to the community. It tends to elevate the
individual members' status in gang culture."
says that Dorsch and O'Keefe are Bay Riders, but the third man,
Angel Johansen, is not -- though all three face gang enhancements. "He's not a member that I know," Silver said of Johansen.
"What his association is with that scene remains to be seen."
claims that "the only nexus with any gang allegations" is the fact that
Silver spotted Hell's Angels and Bay Riders talking with
Sullivan at a bail bond office across from the Hall of Justice the
morning after the arrests. Sullivan said the motorcyclists had come to
bail out the three men, but they couldn't because the charges were
Silver denied this theory. "That
happening on the street afterward, it shows how gangs operate and how the
motorcycle outlaw community associates, and looks out for its members,"
he says. "But that doesn't have bearing on the [gang] charge at
the time of the arrest and booking."
It looks like this debate is just revving up, so to speak.