[08.08.08] Charismatic pastor Phil Aguilar and six other members of Set Free Soldiers, the Christian biker club he founded, were arrested Wednesday morning being. The pastor is being held on an illegal weapons possession charge. One hundred and fifty police raided the men’s homes in Anaheim, Calif., Costa Mesa, Calif., and Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., at 5 a.m., the Los Angeles Times reported.
The arrests followed a 15-person bar brawl on July 27 in Newport Beach, Calif., between members of Set Free Soldiers and the biker gang Hell’s Angels. Three members of Hells Angels also were arrested. According to the Times the police suspect that Set Free Solidiers was resposible for stabbing two Hell’s Angels members. Several of the Christian bikers, including Aguilar, are being held with at least $50,000 bail.
“These are all false accusations,” Rock Aguilar, told the local CBS affiliate in Los Angeles. “This was jumping the gun on something that was nothing.”
Phil Aguilar, senior pastor of Set Free Worldwide Ministries, which has described itself as too good for the world and too bad for the church, is a self-professed former drug addict and ex-convict. The ministry, founded in 1982, is known for reaching people discharged from parole, state prisons and county jails, as well as convicted felons.
“I am a sinner saved by the grace of God,” Phil Aguilar wrote on his MySpace page; Set Free Ministry’s Web site was apparently taken down Wednesday. “I may not always do right, but I make an attempt on a daily basis to do the right thing to be a good soldier for Jesus!!!”
According to the Orange County Sheriff's department's Web site, Aguilar was scheduled to appear in court Friday.