SAN FRANCISCO — A man accused of killing the leader of the San Jose Hells Angels in a shootout at a Northern Nevada casino has been arrested on a college campus in San Francisco, authorities said Friday.
Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez, whom authorities identify as a member of the rival Vagos motorcycle gang, was taken into custody Thursday after a University of California, San Francisco, police sergeant spotted him in a parked car a block from campus police headquarters, UCSF Police Chief Pam Roskowski said Friday.
Sgt. John Gutierrez was on routine patrol when he spotted a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu with Washington state license plates and saw a man inside acting nervously shortly after 8 p.m., Roskowski said.
Gutierrez then asked Gonzalez, 53, of San Jose, for his keys and driver’s license. A background check revealed Gonzalez’s arrest warrant in the Nevada slaying.
He was arrested without incident.
“It’s just good old-fashioned police work,” Roskowski said of Gutierrez, noting authorities across California and Nevada were told to be on the lookout for Gonzalez.
“The sergeant is an experienced investigator who simply trusted and followed his instincts.”
Gonzalez is being held in the San Francisco jail pending his extradition back to Sparks, where police accuse him of killing Jeffrey “Jethro” Pettigrew, 51, of San Jose during a shootout inside John Ascuaga’s Nugget on Sept. 23.
Gonzalez shot Pettigrew, president of the San Jose chapter of the Hells Angels and a city transportation worker, four times in the back, authorities said.
They believed Gonzalez was in hiding and feared rival bikers would track him down before they could.
Two Vagos members also were wounded in the shootout, and a third was shot in the stomach the next morning by a gunman in a passing car.