Amid a sea of leather and the roar of nearly 2,000 mufflers, Frisco Hells Angels leader Mark “Papa” Guardado was laid to rest Monday after a funeral that tested police departments in San Francisco and the Peninsula.
Hells Angels from chapters around the world and mourners from dozens of other motorcycle clubs packed into the parking lot of Duggan’s Serra Mortuary in Daly City for the 10 a.m. service. Spectators filled surrounding blocks and watched from every level of a nearby six-story parking structure.
Guardado, the 46-year-old president of the San Francisco Hells Angels chapter, was shot and killed outside a Mission district bar on Sept. 2.
Police have issued a $5 million arrest warrant for Christopher Ablett, 37, of Modesto, in connection with the fatal shooting. Ablett is allegedly a member of a rival gang called the Mongols Motorcycle Club.
At the time of his death, Guardado was facing assault charges stemming from a beating outside a Petaluma bar in February.
Police said the funeral and the subsequent ride though the Mission district, around the Hells Angels’ Potrero Hill clubhouse and back to Colma for the burial was peaceful. Hundreds of police officers from San Francisco, Daly City, Colma and San Bruno had been prepared for anything. Police departments would not reveal the number of officers used in the funeral patrol.
“It’s probably the biggest funeral we’ve had in Daly City,” said Capt. Eric Wollman, who has been with Daly City police more than two decades.
While the bulk of the police work focused on traffic enforcement, Wollman said authorities were also conscious of possible violence.
“We don’t want any retaliation in Daly City,” he said. “That’s paramount to us.”
“Digital,” a member of the motorcycle club Blood Line, said he rode from Union City to pay his respects.
“We’re a tight brotherhood,” he said. “I have respect and love for him.”
One biker, who gave his name as Antonio Andolini, said he was overwhelmed as soon as he dismounted his Harley and saw the sheer number of mourners.
“Goosebumps,” he said. “That’s all I can say.”
Mission district resident Matthew Peace, 15, who stumbled onto the funeral while skateboarding, said the funeral reminded him of the violence that has claimed eight lives in his neighborhood in the past three weeks.
“It doesn’t make any sense,” Peace said. “It’s people killing people over colors. It’s nonsense.”
FBI spokeswoman Patti Hansen said the Hells Angels have been the subjects of past investigations, often involving illegal weapons and methamphetamine.
In April, Hells Angels members Joseph Wilson and Jason Peterson were convicted for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. They were arrested in 2006 following an FBI investigation of the chapter’s San Francisco clubhouse.