March trial date set for Oakland police defendants

The Associated Press
Wednesday November 21, 2001

OAKLAND — Three former Oakland police officers accused of beating suspects and planting evidence will face a March trial, a judge decided Tuesday. 

Chuck Mabanag, Jude Siapno and Matthew Hornung have pleaded innocent to more than 60 felony and misdemeanor counts ranging from kidnapping to falsifying reports. They allegedly were part of a police crew that called itself “The Riders” and reportedly abused west Oakland residents during the summer of 2000. 

Siapno’s attorney, Bill Rapoport, said defense lawyers also will seek a change of venue at a February hearing. 

The department has insisted that the trio of officers — as well as Frank Vazquez the alleged ring leader who is now a fugitive — were renegades.