October 7, 2014
Seven friends went riding on Sunday morning, but only two went home on their bikes.
Navid Zamani, a 25-year-old San Diego resident, was among the group of friends riding on SR-94. His fate was a familiar one, when a 24-year-old Santee resident turned left in front of the riders, wielding an unavoidably large GMC pickup truck.
Navid smashed into the front of the pickup. The dramatic scene following the collision can be seen in the incredible photos posted to NBC San Diego here.
His 2010 Ducati became engulfed in flames. One of his friends held his head as emergency responders cared for him. This friend was allegedly dragged away, thrown to the dirt and handcuffed by police.
Three of the others, likely in a state of shock and attempting to deal with the scene, rode their motorcycles in a way that upset the police on-scene, who proceeded to stop and handcuff them as well.
The police say Jon Regenhardt, the rider who was staying with Zamani, was “interfering”. The three riders – Tim Parker, Jason Thompson and Antonio Tapia – were said to be driving recklessly.
All four deny interfering, saying instead they were grieving. The U.S. Border Patrol, which assisted in the arrests, declined comment.
On Monday the friends gathered at Barrett Junction Cafe to grieve and create a small memorial.
The events and emotions of this story are generally saved for television. It’s unclear what provoked the officers to throw Regenhardt to the ground, push his head into the dirt and handcuff him as can be seen in photos 7 and 8. These tactics are most certainly designed to quickly disable someone who is acting in a dangerous way, but a grieving friend?
Navid Zamani died that day, while his friends were arrested around him. The driver of the pickup was uninjured in the ordeal.
Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends affected by this tragedy. The San Diego motorcycle lawyers here at RiderzLaw wish truly the best for all involved, not just getting through the emotional grievances but also in any legal action they might take upon the departments responsible for these alleged abuses.