Escondido, CA

Escondido police presence deters out-of-town motorcycle gang

While not exactly “shock and awe,” a dramatically expanded police pres­ence in Escondido and all over North County over the weekend of March 5-6 discouraged hundreds of members of a violent motorcycle gang from descend­ing on a business in Escondido that ca­tered to them.

Call that a “former” business, be­cause Twisted Motorsports is no longer operating at its former location near the corner of Auto Park Way & Nordahl Road in the industrial park area of the city.

Many of our readers noticed a lot of police activity over the weekend. There was a Sheriff’s trailer set up in the parking lot of the Escondido Police De­partment. The Times-Advocate spotted many deputies in the EPD parking lot and much more than the usual number of EPD officers, especially in the west side of town.

According to Lt. Ed Varso, public information officer for the department, “There were a few different events throughout the weekend, which all led to a noticeable increase in police pres­ence. Friday there was a DUI Satura­tion patrol.

On Friday and Saturday evening there was a multi-agency gang suppression de­tail, which would account for the sheriff cars and trailer at EPD.

Lastly, during the day Saturday there was a multi-agency probation operation looking for those that were in violation of their probation terms. So, yes a definite increase in police presence this past weekend.”

The gang suppression was the big­gest deal, of course, although, be­cause it was a successful suppression before the fact, the great majority of residents were never even aware of it.

“We had information that a motor­cycle gang had planned a large party at a local business. We were expect­ing three hundred to five hundred mo­torcycle gang members and up to five hundred people who were not mem­bers of the gangs to show up,” said Varso. This would have just about jammed the business to the rafters with people.

This party was apparently a nation­al event for a motorcycle gang not­ed for its violence and which Varso asked the paper not to identify, since such publicity is exactly what they seek. “This gang is known for vio­lence,” he said.

Although most of the police pres­ence was at the west side of Escondi­do, including Sheriff’s deputies since San Marcos as a Sheriff’s contract city, there was a multi-unit task force composed of California Highway Patrol, Carlsbad and Oceanside PDs because the gang members were ex­pected to fan out to stay at the beach as well as local hotels.

“The concern was that although it was hosted in Escondido that they might visit other parts of the county,” said Varso.

The party never happened because Escondido Code Enforcement dis­covered that the motorcycle repair business was operating without a li­cense and the city attorney contacted the owner. The city informed the business owner that it had informa­tion that the party was going to hap­pen and that the red carpet was defi­nitely not being rolled out.

The word got back to the gang. Some showed up, although most didn’t, and the party was apparently moved to another business—this one in the Los Angeles area.

“Our motivation was that this was a public safety concern since this is a notably violent gang,” said Varso. “All in all it worked out very well.”

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