Just as the police war on motorcycle clubs seemed to have found its dirty bottom, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release yesterday that suggests Mongols Motorcycle Club Chapter 13 member Eric Dean “Lil Pee-Ka” Garcia was murdered by members of the Ghost Mountain Riders Motorcycle Club.
The release was written by Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Sergeant Ian Patrick and issued by Sheriff’s Lieutenant Craig Wilson. It read:
The Santa Cruz Release
On October 13, 2012, a hiker found a decomposed body in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The victim was identified as 32-year old San Jose resident Eric Garcia. An autopsy ruled the case a homicide and investigators now believe it likely Garcia was murdered at a different location. Information related to the cause of death, location of the crime, or possible weapons will not be released at this time as it could impede the investigation.
Garcia was reported as a missing person to the San Jose Police Department during September 2012. His motorcycle was also missing. He was a member of the Mongols Motorcycle Club.
Investigation has determined that Garcia was last seen alive at the Park Lane Lounge, 5152 Moorpark Ave, San Jose, on September 19 at 2:00 a.m. in the company of persons associated with the Ghost Mountain Riders Motorcycle Club. Sheriff’s detectives believe that Park Lane Lounge customers may have witnessed interactions between the Garcia and others and can provide important information relevant to the investigation.
Garcia, who was also known as “Peeka,” was a Hispanic male, 5’-9” tall, approximately 350 lbs. He had tattoos on both forearms and upper chest. Garcia was believed to be wearing blue jeans, a white shirt and a black leather jacket without any markings.
No arrests have been made in this case. The attached photo of the Ghost Mountain Riders Motorcycle Club logo is included to refresh the memory of possible witnesses. Sheriff’s detectives are actively investigating this homicide and request that anyone with information contact the Sheriff’s Office.
For months, starting at the time of Garcia’s disappearance, Police and family members stated that Garcia was last seen at a party near the intersection of Vine and Goodyear streets in San Jose. He took a phone call at about 11:45 p.m. on September 18. He told others at the party that he would be right back then rode off into the night. His family reported him missing on September 20.
The police investigation unto the murder has centered around the most superficial motive – which is that Garcia was murdered by members or associates of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club as an act of revenge. In November 2008, Garcia was present at the shooting of a Hells Angel named Robert Daniel Thompson outside a bar outside a bar called The Shanty in Eureka, California. Garcia was not the shooter. A man named Eric Gunner Lundin eventually pled no contest to a charge of felony assault with a firearm. Garcia pled guilty to a charge of “participation in a criminal street gang.”
The Ghost Mountain Riders is a three chapter club in Central California near Monterey Bay. The Ghost Mountain Riders maintain cordial relations with other clubs including nearby charters of the Hells Angels. They are not formally or informally tied to the Angels. In recent years, however, they have been at odds with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, which considers the club a gang. The Sheriff’s Office recently refused to approve a liquor license for the Ghost Mountain Riders 23rd Annual First Daze of Summer Run – a well attended run that benefits handicapped children.
Ghost Mountain Riders Respond
The Ghost Mountain Riders did not comment on the release. Individual, well informed members of the club did speak to The Aging Rebel on conditions of anonymity.
One club member said: “First of all, the Ghost Mountain Riders have had virtually nothing to do with the Mongols at all. We have not been at odds with them, and we don’t hang out with them, so for the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Department to issue a press release saying Pee-Ka was seen ‘in the company’ of associates of the Ghost Mountain Riders is a big stretch. I have to wonder why they would issue such a damning press release.”
Another very informed source said, “I am afraid of the stuff that could be coming. I’m waiting for our doors to get kicked in. As far as I know, our club has absolutely nothing to do with this guy!”