Gary Stuart Rudnick (above), the former Vagos Motorcycle Club Los Angeles chapter Vice-President, was extradited to Reno yesterday. Rudnick is charged with “challenge to an affray” and “conspiracy to commit second degree murder.” He will be arraigned in the Washoe County District Court Friday at 9 a.m.
The statutes under which Rudnick has been charged are artifacts from the age of gentlemen’s duels and illegal prize fights. The key element to an affray, for example, is that the dispute take place in public. “Challenge to a fight” has historically been understood to be a written challenge. Both charges are usually misdemeanors.
The Nugget Brawl
Rudnick was at the center of a brawl between members of the Vagos and the Hells Angels Motorcycle at John Ascuaga’s Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, Nevada on September 23 during an annual motorcycle rally named Street Vibrations. Jeffrey “Jethro” Pettigrew, President of the San Jose charter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club died as a result of the fight. Two Vagos, Leonard Ramirez and Diego Garcia were shot. Three men, San Jose Vago Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez, San Jose Hells Angel Cesar Villagrana and Rudnick all face charges as a result of the fight.
Gonzalez is charged with shooting Pettigrew. Villagrana is charged with firing multiple shots after the fight started in an apparent attempt to stop the altercation.
Witnesses have said that Rudnick was rude to Pettigrew for an extended period of time and that a fight ensued. Reliable, but not infallible, witnesses have said that Pettigrew struck the first blow. The Associated Press has reported that video recordings of the brawl show Rudnick putting on gloves before the fight. It matters legally, who struck the first blow. Some attorneys have also said that Rudnick’s actions before the brawl might be “very bad” for his defense.