Portage men facing criminal gang activity charges

2014-02-05T17:40:00Z 2014-02-06T16:27:04Z Portage men facing criminal gang activity chargesJoyce Russell joyce.russell@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222 nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | Four members of the Invaders Motorcycle Club face criminal gang activity charges following the beating of a man in a local bar.

Police Chief Troy Williams described the Oct. 20 beating as a "vicious, brutal and unprovoked physical attack" by the four Portage men.

According to Williams, the attack at the Rusty Nail Bar, 2420 Dombey Road, went unreported by employees or owners of the bar, but it was captured on the bar's surveillance video. That video was recovered Oct. 28 by the Indiana State Excise Police.

Three of the four men were arrested Dec. 3. Portage police arrested John Nunez, 46, of 6145 Gaston, Portage, at a residence on Clem Road. Bryan Price, 42, of 685 McCool Road, Portage Township, was arrested at BP Whiting Refinery. Jeremiah Gomez, 39, of 5030 Boulder, Portage, was arrested in Lake Station by Lake Station police. The fourth man, Timothy Henderson, 52, of 6282 Wyandot, Portage, was already in custody on unrelated charges.

All four were charged initially with battery.

On Jan. 18, additional charges of criminal gang activity were filed against all four men.

According to probable cause affidavits filed by police, both Price and Nunez were wearing vests and patches associated with the Invaders at the time of the battery. Gomez was wearing a similar vest associated with prospective members of the motorcycle club.

According to the affidavits, the victim told police Price was the primary offender in the battery. Much of the incident was caught on video tape.

The affidavits state Price punched the victim in the left side of the head with a closed fist and grabbed him by the neck and forced him onto the pool table. Price then allegedly struck the victim four times in the face with his right fist. The two men were pulled to the ground, where Price continued to strike the victim repeatedly about the upper torso and head while Price was straddling him. Price kicked the victim in the front of his body, according to police.

The victim suffered a heavily swollen and bruised left eye, leaving him without vision for three days, an abrasion to the forehead, swelling to the back of the head, pain to his right shoulder and extreme pain to his left jaw.

The victim told police the attack came after the victim said to a third party, "I'm not afraid of them. I grew up in the ghetto." The comment was heard by Nunez and Price.

Police said Nunez also beat the victim and assisted Price in the battery, including dragging the victim through the bar, pushing him into the door and into the parking lot, kicking the victim and making him fall into the side of an SUV parked in the lot.

Gomez and Henderson also allegedly took part in the battery by assisting Price and striking, kicking and/or dragging the victim.

In April 2012, Portage officials worked to shut down a clubhouse they believed was occupied by the local chapter of the Invaders Motorcycle Club. Williams said then the group was in violation of city code by failing to apply and obtain an occupancy permit for the building.

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