NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – A violent brawl may have started because the Hells Angels thought a Christian motorcycle ministry was claiming an affiliation with them, according to court documents made public Thursday.
The 52-page search warrant affidavit, filed in Orange County Superior Court, also cites an anonymous tipster who called police shortly after the July 27 brawl and said the Set Free Soldiers were planning a "war party" at an abandoned chicken farm in Riverside County.
One member had readied a "truckload of guns" there, the caller told authorities.
Set Free's leader, Phillip Aguilar, and four other biker ministers were charged with weapons and gang felonies after the fight at a Newport Beach bar that ended in two stabbings.
The dust-up prompted police to raid the Set Free Christian Ministries compound in Anaheim, where they allegedly recovered thousands of rounds of ammunition and dozens of guns and knives. They also raided Hells Angels homes in Costa Mesa and Rancho Santa Margarita.
Attorneys for Aguilar and the Set Free Soldiers didn't immediately return calls seeking comment on Thursday.
Aguilar, 60, started his counterculture church in 1982 after saying he found Jesus while doing time in the state penitentiary for child abuse. His church, which prides itself on its outreach to criminals, drug addicts and biker gangs, has attracted thousands of members nationwide and operates several drug rehab homes around Southern California.
The brawl began at Blackie's By the Sea, when five Hells Angels met with Aguilar and two other Set Free Soldiers, according to police reports and the affidavit.
During am argument, eight other Set Free Soldiers entered the bar and surrounded the Hells Angels, who then began throwing punches.
Police have said they believe the Set Free Soldiers initiated the meeting and wanted to ambush the Hells Angels.
One Set Free pastor caught fleeing with a bloody knife in his car told police the brawl began when the Hells Angels' leader confronted Aguilar and told him Set Free had been claiming affiliation with the Hells Angels, the documents state.
The Hells Angel leader allegedly told Aguilar they were not authorized to take business from the Hells Angels.
Set Free member Glenn Schoeman told police he was afraid the Hells Angels would now be "greenlighted" to kill him and other Set Free members since they had drawn blood in the fight, the documents state.
Schoeman has since been charged with a felony count of concealing evidence in the stabbing for allegedly hiding the knife, as street terrorism and gang enhancements.