A Hispanic man was slashed in the arm with a knife outside Soma Friday night, the victim of an apparent hate crime.
San Diego Police Department detective Fred Helm said an argument between two "Hammerskin" skinheads and a Hispanic male turned violent when one of the skins drew a knife and plunged it towards the intended victim's chest. The attack occurred between 8 and 8:30 p.m.
"[The intended victim] fell backward and his brother jumped in the way and caught the blade in his arm," Helm reported. "It was a pretty bad cut... surgery, tendons, about an 8-inch slice." Though Helm said the police are not treating the case as an attempted murder at the present moment, the situation could have easily ended in a fatality.
The suspects were described as two men: one five-foot-eleven, with a shaved head wearing a white wifebeater shirt; the other five-foot-nine with a nearly shaved head and a blue sweatshirt. They were heard to yell "white power" and "Aryan nation" throughout the night and just prior to the attack.
Helm said these comments qualify the attack as a hate crime, which according to California law will bring stiffer penalties against the perpetrators.
"It has to be a motive for the attack and there has to be an accompanying crime," he explained. "If there's just racial slurs and no attack, that's protected by free speech. Or if racial slurs occur in the heat of the moment, that's something else."
Helm said the victims identified the attackers as members of either Imperial Beach, Santee or Lakeside racist skinhead factions. A witness at the club, Justin Kopels, believed the men were from Santee and were with about a half-dozen others who were causing problems that night at the venue.
Earlier in the night, Kopels remembered, "two of [the suspects' friends] stood up on a bench and were yelling their bullshit. I asked one, like, what'd he say, and.... bam, he punched me in the face.
"They were pretty rowdy. A lot of people left the show early because of them."
It should be noted that, contrary to popular belief, most local skinheads are not racist. Also, none of the bands playing that night-Lower Class Brats, Defiance, Career Soldiers or The Voids-espouse racist values or incorporate hateful epithets into their music.
No arrests have been made. The officer who took the report did so at the hospital and not the club, so no witnesses from Soma that night have been contacted.
"They didn't call the police until afterwards at the hospital, which was probably the right thing to do, [considering] the injuries involved," Helm said.
Witnesses or anyone with information about the suspects should contact Detective Helm at 619-692-4914.
No. 1 with a bullet
La Jolla ex-pats Gary Jules and Mike "Elgin Park" Andrews (ex-Greyboy All-Stars, Voices) have pulled off an incredible feat-they are one of the few acts to ever hit the U.K. No. 1 spot without a major label contract.
On Dec. 21 the duo sold an impressive 57,456 copies of their cover of Tears for Fears' "Mad World," enough to enter the charts at the top spot. Originally included on Jules' self-released solo album Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets (2001) and included in the 2001 indie film, Donnie Darko, the tune beat out the likes of an Ozzy and Kelly Osbourne duet and the new song by industry darlings, The Darkness.
The surprise hit has seen a flurry of activity, with appearances on Top of the Pops and The Jonathan Ross Show already under their belts. Sanctuary Records plans to reissue Jules' album on Jan. 19. In the meantime, look for two different editions of the CD single, one of which includes the song's video.
Another big one for the kids
A new, all-ages venue holding nearly 2,000 people is scheduled to open in Chula Vista next month.
The venue is a gymnasium at 1301 Oleander, next door to the Len Moore Chula Vista Skate Park and part of the Chula Vista Boys and Girls Club. The effort to transform it into a live-music venue is being spearheaded by skatepark employee Aaron Churder, a 10-year veteran of the professional rollerblading circuit and designer/partial owner of Vertical Productions Industries, a company that produces ramps for X Games and other major national events.
To get the venue off the ground, Churder is using experience he garnered touring with the Warped Tour and Lollapalooza, and in booking shows at another skatepark in Salt Lake City. The skate park already has the blessing of the city and the Boys and Girls Club, and Churder hopes it can become a major source of income for the park.
"All proceeds go to the park and the club," he said. "It's not like this is my venue and I'm looking to make a bunch of money off of it."
He said the skatepark has considerable overhead and cost about $2 million to build.
He also hopes the new venue will be a community effort: "I want to get all the feedback I can, and am inviting everyone to give me any advice they can, or if they want to get involved and book shows."
The venue is hoping to secure a good-sized touring band for the Feb. 20 opening, but still plans to go ahead even if it's less-known locals. Churder also said the facilities can be cordoned off to better host smaller shows.
"I really also don't want it to become just for one type of music. I'd like to have punk one weekend, rap the next, whatever."
Currently, Churder is looking to only book shows on Fridays, but said the club is also available other dates.
M-Theory Music has begun carrying limited-edition rock poster prints by local legend Maynard. Among these are classic works for bands like The Dragons, Lucy's Fur Coat, Blood Brothers, Shonen Knife and many more. Prints are $27 framed, $15 naked and more will be available in weeks and months to come.
Twice the buzz for your buck: two of San Diego's finest, Prizefight and Goodbye, Blue Monday, have finished recording for a split 7-inch to be released in early 2004. The limited edition colored vinyl will be released on Loud and Clear Records and will also be available on CD. Pressing should be done by the time the two bands embark together on a spring tour.
Local label Rocket Records has just re-released Norway band Salvatore's 2001 album, Fresh, with the notable addition of four remixes, including one from Pall Jenkins of Black Heart Procession.