Robert “Bob” Vieira (Corrected)

January 15, 2016

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Robert "Bob" Vieira (Corrected)

This obituary was published on January 15, 2016 and was corrected on January 16. The original obituary identified Bob Vieira as a member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club when he died. The Aging Rebel has since been informed that Vieira was no longer a member of the club when he died. This obituary has been corrected to reflect that change in status and to explain how it came about.

Robert “Bob” Vieira, a long time member of the San Jose charter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, died peacefully of liver and kidney failure on New Year’s Eve.

Vieira lived almost his entire life in San Jose and owned Central Towing on Monterey Highway. For many years, he held the title on the San Jose Hells Angels’ clubhouse.

He was briefly famous after the late Hells Angel Steve Tausan was accused in August 1997 of beating a man to death with one punch at a stripper bar called the Pink Poodle. Police theorized that Tausan was part of a conspiracy to beat the unruly customer, a man named Kevin Sullivan, for insulting the motorcycle club.

Police subsequently launched a series of punitive raids, under the guise of serving search warrants, against members of the San Jose charter. The warrants were based on an affidavit written by a Sheriff’s deputy Robert Linderman and, then, San Jose policeman Jorge Gil-Blanco. The two told a judge that the searches would look for written proof that the San Jose charter had planned to murder Sullivan and that it was a “criminal street gang.” Police raided nine homes and seized mementoes and insignia that proved what the police already knew – that the occupants were members of the Hells Angels. As is common with these notorious indicia searches, first thing the cops killed the Vieira’s two dogs.

Vieira later told Dan Simon of CNN, “If a dog is locked in the yard and that’s where he belongs, I don’t think anybody has a right to kill them. And as far as I’m concerned, it was just target practice for them.”

Lori Vieira told Simon, “Boom, boom, boom. I woke up. Said, ‘Bob!’ and I heard it again. And I said, ‘oh my God, oh, my God!’

The Vieira’s and other victims of the raids settled lawsuits against the police in 1998. The settlements amounted to $1.8 million.

After that, the police largely left the Vieiras’ alone.

Bob Vieira’s tragic moment came during a brawl between members of the Vagos Motorcycle Club and members of the San Jose charter at a Sparks, Nevada casino in September 2011. Charter president Jeffrey “Jethro” Pettigrew was killed during the brawl. By most accounts the brawl was instigated by a Vago named Gary “Jabbers” Rudnick who was then expelled from his club and who became the principal witness against Vago Ernesto Gonzalez, who was accused of Pettigrew’s murder.

The hotel, John Ascuaga’s Nugget Hotel and Casino, was the official residence for most Vagos who attended a biker event in Reno that year. The only Hells Angels in the casino were members of the San Jose charter. Vieira made the reservation.

According to his own account Vieira, who was 72 at the time, was knocked unconscious by a blow to the head with a bottle during the fight.

Ironically, Tausan was shot and killed at Pettigrew’s funeral by a then member of the club named Steve Ruiz. Ruiz was later punished with three years in prison for the murder. At that funeral, members of the San Jose charter publically blamed Vieira for the tragedy in Sparks.

Vieira was also interviewed by Reno police. He told them that there was no feud between Vagos and Hells Angels in San Jose and that the fight had been instigated by Rudnick. A tape recording of the interview was introduced into evidence during Gonzalez’ trial.

After Pettigrew’s funeral, Vieira relinquished title to the clubhouse, turned in his insignia and left the club. According to multiple informed sources, his club status at the time of his death was out in bad standing, no contact.

Robert “Bob” Vieira was 76-years-old when he died. He died with his wife by his side.

Requiscat In Pace

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39 Responses to “Robert “Bob” Vieira (Corrected)”

  1. Mark Says:

    Just read this today and am sad to hear it ended this way!
    I worked for Bobby in 1980 at central tow and will never forget what an up-standing guy he was!
    My condolences to Lori and all his brothers.
    I knew how much he loved and respected the club!
    RIP Bob!

  2. Motto man Says:

    I did not know tell today Bob had passed I am so sorry and he will be missed was a cool and good friend 50 plus year member it’s a shame the Reno issue happened and sucked about jeffrow sure wish it didn’t happen like that Bob did deserve his legacy no man is without faults, Bob God speed, RIP! (clutch it) 45 years I grew up around the corner did his news paper rout he was hard to collect $ from as a youngster used to sweat knocking on his door lol

  3. Sleeze Says:

    You can run but you can’t
    hide from Karma. P.B.A.B REST IN PEACE OLD X FRIEND .

  4. Dasein Says:

    A strange tale. This man is highly regarded by everyone except his former club. It does seem the reservation at The Nugget led pretty directly to the multiple tragedies, and it doesn’t require hindsight to see it as a grossly retarded move on Mr Vieria’s part. But the whole charter seemingly went along with it, so this “mistake” wasn’t his alone, and not likely the prime mover for his expulsion, but it did lead to whatever followed, and apparently there were other “mistakes” at some point. At any rate, it’s a very interesting story, but beyond this casual speculation based on the article above, and the posts, it’s clearly “none of my business”. The post by Paul Carlson caught my attention however, and gave me a glimpse into the heart and mind of what seemed to be a very brave and mentally together guy.

  5. Neuro Says:

    Thanks for that, Paul.

  6. Paul Carlson Says:

    I new Bob for 30plus yes. He was not afraid of anything period .I will give one ex ole late one night in 78 me and Bob were towing cars out of elrancho getto and 20 border brothers and niggers surrounded us inside locked gates . Bob looked at me and said fuck it we pulled our guns out and dropped 2guys. The rest ran I was a little tense but Bob was so cool when we got back to central tow he sat down a date cupcakes. To Kool for school. So FUCK U PUNKS WHO TALK SHIT STICK IT UP YOUR PUSSY ASSES. APE HANGER JACK!!!!!!

  7. Crazy Frankie Says:

    I think Bob quit the club because he got scared of the Vagos. The HA rule is once in stays in till death

  8. Betty Says:

    I just heard of Bobbies death. It saddens me of his status with the club. May you rest in peace Bobbie. Forever in my thoughts.

  9. Andy M. Says:

    Bob V was one of my heroes (Steve, Jethro, and Bob V.). He lived his life honoring and loving the Club and his brothers. Jethro was like a son to Bob.
    I just learned about Bob’s death, and how his life in the club had ended. It breaks my heart.
    My belated condolences go to Lori. Although I hadn’t been in contact with Bob for 15 yrs, I still hold him with the deepest love and respect. I miss you Brother.

  10. Sal Says:

    I worked for Bob and Lori for a long time my love and respect will always be with them…rest in piece my friend love ya Bob Big Sal

  11. DK10 Says:

    Bob was part of my family. And we have each others backs no matter what. RIP BOB

  12. last gasp Says:

    Condolences to loved ones of Bob Viera.
    Also condolences To loved ones of Kevin Sullivan Who was Drunk, knocked out and then beaten to death By Steve Tausan at the Pink Poodle Strip club

  13. Miss BehavingChick Says:

    To Lori,
    I send my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. I know how it feels to lose your life partner i pray for strength for you. God Bless, Laurie Enriquez (RJ’s wife)

  14. old & stoned Says:

    Rebel – true on all counts.

    as for Mr Vieira, everyone i’ve met who knew him still have nothing but Respect for him, regardless what color shoelaces. he left a definite impression on everyone, not just in the club world.

  15. Rebel Says:

    Dear Old & Stoned,

    I don’t know whether Tausan hit the guy once or six times. I don’t know if Tausan is the only bouncer who hit the guy. I do know that strip club bouncers physically handle unruly patrons all the time. I know that Tausan is dead. I know Tausan is grieved for. I know the incident at the Pink Poodle gave the feds an opportunity to try to prove racketeering conspiracy against the San Jose charter and they couldn’t do it. And the obituary was about Bob Vieira, who got caught up in that FBI investigation. That is the only reason why Tausan’s name appeared in it. And I think that it is a shame that a troll has decided to try to make some point about motorcycle clubs in general or the Hells Angels in particular by making confrontative comments on Bob Vieira’s obituary. Bob Vieira’s former club brothers can judge him. God can judge him. The same goes for Tausan. I don’t write obituaries for the dead or for rude trolls. I write them for the grieving survivors.

    Rebel

  16. old & stoned Says:

    Tausen testified he hit the guy “twice”in self defense, but all the local news reported about ‘the nose’ – http://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/10.23.97/pink-murder-9743.html

    after street vibes a local TV newswoman was on video saying he showed her pics of the guys ‘face’ on his cell phone.

  17. Rebel Says:

    Dear truthseeker,

    When I google ” Kevin Sullivan Pink Poodle Autopsy” I get “No Results Found.” I haven’t seen that autopwy report. Please send me a copy.

    Rebel

  18. truthseeker Says:

    If you google ” Kevin Sullivan Pink Poodle Autopsy” You will discover that drunk murder victim Kevin Sullivan suffered Multiple severe trauma to his head and bodyWith no defensive wounds according to the autopsy. He was knocked out then Cowardly used as a human punching bag by his killer Steve Tausan…not “one punch” as stated.

  19. Sone one who knows Says:

    Thank you.

  20. BMW Says:

    Rebel: I really appreciate the obituaries that you run on the Web site. The biker community has only oral histories for the most part, and different people will have different information and opinions. We don’t generally offer very much information to anyone but those we see as Brothers, and a “Good Brother” today may be “out bad” in decades to come. It is understandable that there will be subsequent revisions as more information becomes available, or corrections are offered. Don’t beat yourself up for the same sort of error anyone could make. In our world things can sure change dramatically!
    With Respect to All,
    BMW

  21. BMW Says:

    May He Ride In Peace Forever!!! Condolences to his Brothers, Family And Friends!!!
    BMW

  22. Maryann/Bill Says:

    R.I.P Bob. You were a nice man. Love to Lori and the family.

  23. FF Says:

    Like I already said, My condolences to his wife Lori, his brothers, family and friends.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho-teZSjgZY

  24. JAFO Says:

    Ok, I’m the one that asked Rebel to post this obituary.

    Bob’s issue with his club is and was none of my business. He always treated me with respect.

    I apologize to Rebel for what will probably come his way.

    Regards
    JAFO

  25. Rebel Says:

    Dear some one who knows,

    Sure. I offended you in error. I will correct the obituary today.

    Rebel

  26. Phuquehed Says:

    Sounds like a damned fine stand-up man. It would have been a privilege and an honor to have been able to meet him.

    My condolences of such a loss to friends and family and Brothers of this man.

  27. Sone one who knows Says:

    He was NOT a Hells Angel. He was once upon a time, but doesn’t deserve that title even in death. If you are going to write an article you should get your facts straight. Bob died not associated with the Hells Angels motorcycle club.

  28. Road Whore Says:

    R.I.P.

    Condolences to family, friends, loved ones, and brothers.

  29. Drifter Says:

    Godspeed, Condolences to His Family, Club Brothers and Friends.

    I remember those raids, the pigs were, well, pigs…

  30. Rusty Says:

    Condolences.

    RIP

  31. FF Says:

    My condolences to his wife Lori, his brothers, family and friends.

    RIP

    The street is cold, its trees are gone.
    The story’s told the dark has won.
    Once we set sail to catch a star.
    We had to fail, it was too far.

  32. JAFO Says:

    RIP Bobby V.
    You were a stand up man and now an embedded memory.
    I know you are missed.

    JAFO

  33. JMacK Says:

    Deepest Respect and Condolences to the Family and Brothers of Mr. Vieira.

    This touches a little deeper as my father will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of his kidney and liver transplant.

    RIP sir,
    JMacK

  34. WheresMyBoots Says:

    Condolences to the man’s family, brothers, and friends.
    Much Respect, and Ride Free Forever,

    -WMB

  35. Wrangler Says:

    Condolences to his family, friends and brothers. May he rest in peace.

    Respects,
    Wrangler

  36. Caretaker Says:

    Ride In Peace my friend. My condolences to all who knew him.

    Respects,
    Caretaker

  37. Jim666 Says:

    R.I.P.
    Bob Vieira,
    Sincere condolences to Family,Brothers,& Friends,
    Thoughts are with the San Jose Charter of HAMC.
    M/L&R

  38. Paladin Says:

    Condolences to his family and Club.

    Long May He Ride,

    Paladin

  39. Steel Says:

    May he RIP and condolences to his brothers.

    Respects

    Steel

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