SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Grand jurors have indicted a Seattle police detective, a Hells Angel biker he shot, two customs officers and another man following a bar fight at this year's Sturgis motorcycle rally.
Seattle officers charged in Sturgis shooting Grand jurors have indicted a Seattle police detective, a Hells Angel biker he shot, two customs officers and another man following a bar fight at this year's Sturgis motorcycle rally.
Joseph McGuire, 33, of Imperial Beach, Calif., was shot and injured Aug. 9 at the Loud American Roadhouse by Ronald Smith, 43, a vacationing Seattle detective, authorities said.
Both men are charged with alternative counts of aggravated and simple assault.
The four other men charged are, like Smith, members of the Iron Pigs Motorcycle Club, a biker group culled from the ranks of law enforcement and firefighters. Dennis McCoy, 59, a Seattle police sergeant; Customs and Border Protection officers Scott Lazalde, 38, of Bellingham, Wash., and James Rector, 44, of Ferndale, Wash.; and Erik Pingel, 35, of Aurora, Colo., were charged with the misdemeanor of carrying a concealed pistol without a permit, and an alternative count of failure to abide by a permit of a reciprocal state.
McGuire and Smith also face those charges, and Smith is further charged with perjury.
"The grand jury must've decided that Mr. Smith, having taken an oath to testify truly, in a state proceeding, stated intentionally and contrary to the oath, a material matter which he knew to be false," Meade County State's Attorney Jesse Sondreal wrote in an e-mail to reporters.
The prosecutor said he did not want to comment beyond a news release in which he wrote that warrants will be served and no court dates have been set.Ten people testified Thursday before the grand jury. On Aug. 10, 25 people appeared before the same panel, Sondreal wrote.
In a brief statement Thursday, the Seattle Police Department said only that its officers who were involved remain on paid administrative leave.
The Seattle Police Officers' Guild, meanwhile, put out a statement saying: "We are certain that once all the facts are known, the involved SPOG members will be vindicated and absolved of any wrongdoing. Until that occurs, we are heartened by the news that Detective Ron Smith is recovering from his serious injuries and that no other parties were injured except for Detective Smith and his alleged assailant."
The statement did not say what Smith's injuries were.
Smith, who said after the shooting he had been attacked, had clashed with the Hells Angels before. In 2005, he pressed misdemeanor charges against the owner of a Seattle motorcycle shop, Anthony James Magnesi, for threatening him over the telephone.
But the charges were dropped after Magnesi and his attorney, Paul Bernstein, played a recording of the call for city prosecutors. On the tape, Smith called Magnesi a "dirtbag," told him that being a member of the Hells Angels is a crime - which it's not - and said, "You better watch your back," Bernstein said Thursday.
The biker had called Smith after learning through friends that Smith had been asking about him. Magnesi was under no criminal investigation at the time, and had simply called the detective to offer to speak with him, Bernstein said.
"The detective just went bezerk, making all sorts of threats and being very angry," said Bernstein, a former city and county prosecutor in Seattle. "The detective, he's doing this intimidating, 'You're a dirtbag Anthony, don't be calling me.' It's the stuff you see and hear in the movies, but when it's real, it's chilling."
The Seattle Times has reported that in a column for the newspaper of the Seattle Police Officers' Guild, Smith frequently wrote about outlaw motorcycle clubs.
Smith was twice disciplined in 2005, first for taunting fans at a Seattle Seahawks playoff game and later after he was accused of threatening to shoot a Tacoma restaurant manager. The first incident resulted in a two-day suspension, the second with a letter in Smith's file.
He testified last year at a federal racketeering and murder trial involving members of the Washington Nomads chapter of the Hells Angels.
The two customs officers charged are both stationed at Blaine, Wash., on the Canadian border. Rector, assistant area port director for passenger vehicles, has been with customs for more than 20 years, said agency spokesman Mike Milne. Lazalde, a customs officer, has been with the agency for 13 years.
A fire chief at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo., confirmed that a Department of Defense firefighter named Erik Pingel was stationed there, but did not confirm whether it is the same person who was charged.Add to Technorati Favorites
The family of Private Aaron Riley, US Army, has requested the presence of the PGR to welcome him home from the sandbox. Ride information follows:
Stage at Texaco at corner Blountstown Hwy and Capital Circle SE at 3pm
Briefing at 3:15pm KSU at 3:30pm
Flight arrives approximately 4:00pm at the Tallahassee Airport. Escort to Panacea. LEO will pick up at the Wakulla County Line.
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