The closer one looks at The Devils Ride the uglier this show starts to look. The Devils Ride, in case you just got home from a long bit in Chiapas, is the train wreck reality series from the great satan of reality programming, Discovery, and its frolicking imp Bischoff Hervey Entertainment. The show documents the exciting adventures of a San Diego motorcycle club named the Laffing Devils.
So far The Devils Ride seems to have offended a majority of motorcyclists and television enthusiasts in this hemisphere, from real live bikers to Hollywood producers. The show is not just bad. Actual people have been damaged by it. It is impossible to putt through San Diego County on a Saturday afternoon without bumping into a dozen men who have been damaged in one way or another.
The best known of these men, at least among bikers, is a large, pleasant patch holder with the Peckerwoods Motorcycle Club named Deron Jaffe. Jaffe found himself in a fight with two members and an associate of the Laffing Devils May 14. Jaffe was charged with four felony counts and five gang enhancements for his part in the altercation. The Laffing Devils were not charged.
On Friday those charges led a San Diego SWAT team to raid Jaffe’s home at dawn. “My daughter had her friend over for a sleepover,” Jaffe said. His lawyer theorized that the raid was intended to try to find something to pin on the Peckerwood. The police found what everybody has in his house. None of it turned into contraband no matter how hard the cops wished and tossed the home’s contents upside down.
The show has also infuriated Sons of Anarchy producer Kurt Sutter who said, “I know Devils Ride has exploited SOA and is now using me for more exposure.” It may also have offended a well known, retired Hells Angel named Rusty Coones who appeared in two of the six episodes that aired this Spring.
But arguably, the man who has been damaged most by this ridiculous interpretation of biker reality is a part time photographer named Ashi Fachler. Fachler is the hospital patient in the photograph above. He took that photograph and it is published here with his permission. Fachler is also the “prying photographer” seen in the video that accompanies this story. Discovery posted the video on YouTube and has used the clip to promote The Devils Ride. The video shows Fachler being beaten by multiple assailants.
A show cast member named Prospect Charles, who was one of the assailants in the clip, explained the beating as follows: “Somebody was posing as a threat so we had to do a dance.” Fachler threatened Prospect Charles by standing on a public sidewalk in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter and attempted to photograph the camera crews that were video recording three women who played the roles of old ladies in the show.
“I was walking through the district and I saw an interesting scene,” Fachler recalled. It was 9:30 p.m. on Friday, January 27. “Two camera crews were filming some women. The women were sitting outside. I thought it was an interesting scene. I raised my camera to take a photo and the (female) director asked if I was with the press.” Fachler, who is a member of the National Press Photographers Association, was not on assignment that night so he said he wasn’t. He had no idea what was going on. “I didn’t even know they were bikers,” he said.
The Felony Assault
“Suddenly a guy behind me started pushing me,” Fachler continued. “I said, ‘Get your hands off me!’ I thought if I said it loud enough they would turn the cameras in my direction.” The cameras did not turn. Instead the cameras recorded the “old ladies” reactions. “Somebody from behind punched me three times. All this was prior to what happened in the television episode.”
Then the cameras turned. “I had two guys on me. I had no idea what was happening. One of the guys was the prospect. That’s when I hit him with my very expensive camera. The footage was edited to portray me as an aggressive photographer attacking a biker. I’m 44-years-old and I’ve never been in a fight in my life. They abused my image for their profit.” Fachler can be heard on the video yelling for someone to call the police. There were no police on scene.
Fachler was knocked down. “While I was on the ground at least five people, two guys and three old ladies hit and punched me. One of the old ladies broke a glass on my head.” Fachler suffered a broken nose, a broken cheekbone, broken ribs and a broken ankle. He limped away from the cameras and called the police himself.
No Charges Filed
When the police arrived they talked to the director before they talked to Fachler. He asserts she lied. The cops, “treated me as the aggressor,” he said. “They wouldn’t bring the ambulance to me.” The police parked the ambulance away from the scene so as not to interfere with the filming of this essential show. “I had to walk a block on my ankle to get medical help.”
As of June 24, police have still not filed charges against anyone who beat Fachler on national television. Fachler is still undergoing physical therapy for his ankle. Speaking about Deron Jaffe, the patch holder who fought with Laffing Devils four months later and earned a world of hurt for it, Fachler said, “Please tell him thank you.”
“Yes. I want people to know I am not an actor. I was not paid by the show. The beating wasn’t staged. I am not connected to the show in any way. I was just walking down the street and tried to take a picture.”