Friday evening I attended the Mid Atlantic Motrocycles show at the Maryland state fair grounds. As I entered the door and handed my ticket to the doorman I couldn't help to notice the increased police presence. These weren't ordinary patrolmen. They were SWAT team members in all their jackbooted, all black uniformed Nazi looking glory. My first thought was that the state and county government was over reacting again to another biker show(they haven't learned yet that most Harley riders today are yups going through middle age crazies and their second childhood). I shrugged this off and hastily made my first stop to the adult beverage stand to buy a beer. I was told by the beer man that the county had pulled the liqour license on the show this morning and all he had to sell was bottled water. I paid my two dollars grabbed the water and off I went to check out the rows and rows of cool rides. As I entered the first show hall I was stunned to see the Hell's Angels with a booth set up in the middle of the show with a huge banner strung up and wearing their colors and selling T-shirts. They were promoting their club like it was some type of ligit law abiding business. Needless to say that the whole scene was coming together and starting to register in my mind of why the police were there in such numbers and liqour license was pulled. You could hear and feel the discontent through the show as many thought that these jerks put a damper on the show by just their mere presence.(P.S. A few weeks before there was a fight that resulted in a shooting between the Angels and the Pagans at a night club in the area.)
HA have had booths at Sturgis for quite a few years,under their business name of "Red...something or other", without any problems that I'm aware of. However, in 2000, they put a guy in the hospital who took a picture of them in the bar they hang out in. They have also bought their own property in the area so they can party without trouble from others.
Last year, Sonny Barger was there, signing copies of his new book. There's a video clip at this site
of an interview with him, as he portrayed himself as an honest guy trying to make a living, and competing with yuppies willing to pay 200 bucks a night for a motel.
THIS...IS...AMERICA. If the Hells Angels want to set up a booth and sell T-shirts, and the show promoter allows them to, they can do it all day long. They had to get permission, and probably had to pay a vendor fee, just like anyone else at the show. The cops can set up a booth if they want also. Scuffles between clubs have been going on all over the world for a long time, not much is changing. Whenever there is tension between clubs, the police are bound to make their presence known. If you are offended by the presence of the HA, you do not have to be there, you are a guest of the show. You could have asked for your money back.
djs_dog - I just got back from the motorcycle swap here in Syracuse and all of the local clubs were present at the swap including the "Red and White" - and there was no trouble at all from anyone wearing red and white colors or any other colors. The Red and White have been attending these events all over the country and there hasn't been any trouble over their presence - if you don't like club members being there and you have a bad attitude about motorcycle clubs in general you should go join and participate in the local chess club. I for one have never seen any club members, the Red and white or any other club, go out of their way to start trouble - harass - fight - or anything else at these events - as a matter of fact when I go to these motorcycle events I look forward to the presence of club members being there. Let the cops, judges, lawyers, politicians, clergy, and chess club members stay home.
For anyone interested - if your in the NY area the
"Iron Horsemen" will be sponsoring a street drag bike event Sunday, July 18th - should be a pretty good time - see ya'll there - makes no difference what you ride but please "no" members of the chess club.
All man! You guys make me laugh! I bought my first harley at eighteen.( gives me almost thirty uniterrupted years in the saddle and I don't play chess and I'm no tea totaler) I've see enough of the club bull to last me a life time. Partied with the Angels, Pagans, Barbarians and local clubs. I've found that there is something seriously lacking somewhere in these sad excuse for human beings lives to attach theirselves to such a phony way of life. I've seen them come and I've see them go. The faces change constantly but the colors are still the same and so are the attitudes...Sorry guys but these are grown men playing a dangerous and childish game. Hopefully they will all just kill each other and get it over with....Star struck are you Bluto? Tell me how many years have you been riding?... To each his own I suppose.
So why did the "Hell's Angels" ruin the show?? Was it because of their presence and the COUNTY pulling the liquor license for the show and you couldn't get a beer, or just the mere fact that they were there?? Did the jackbooted thugs intimidate you or ask questions of you?? If you've partied with 1% clubs like you say that you have in the past, you should know the gig, and shouldn't be surprised by what was seen last nite. JMO
Yeah panhead that's right. I was pissed because i couldn't get a beer! So what? The point is that these jerk offs ruined it with their presence and the feeling was pretty much unaminous through out the show. Law abiding citizens are tired of the shootings and fights that these types bring to motorcycling in any given area that they appear. The Hell's Angels are trying to take over the turf. They play their silly games andt the rest of us bikers have to suffer because of it. They bring the heat down on everyone just trying to ride and have a good time...Maybe you guys support drug dealing, illegal guns and explosives etc. Sorry boys it ain't my bag. Read this and tell me it's what you think that us bikers should be all about. This is just a little bit of what's been going on around this neck of the woods. You can't tell me you seriously condone such antics? ..Do you?
3 Arrested in Md. in Probe of Biker Clubs
By Michael Amon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 25, 2003; Page B03
More than 30 members of motorcycle clubs in six states, including Virginia and Maryland, were arrested on drug and weapons charges yesterday as law enforcement authorities carried out raids on at least 47 biker clubhouses and residences, authorities said.
About 30 members of the Warlocks motorcycle club were arrested in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley and in West Virginia, Florida, New York and South Carolina on charges of possessing illegal drugs and firearms and manufacturing explosives, officials said. More than 150 weapons were seized. In Southern Maryland, three members of a newly formed Hells Angels chapter, including the president and vice president, were charged with firearms violations, according to authorities.
Dan Woloszynowski, a spokesman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the Hells Angels in Calvert County were targeted as part of a two-year undercover investigation of the Warlocks. Authorities said members of the Warlocks in Virginia frequently associate with Hells Angels members in Calvert.
Woloszynowski said two undercover agents gained membership in the Warlocks in Virginia's Shenandoah County and eventually developed information about drug and gun trafficking schemes in several states.
"These gangs claim to be impenetrable," Woloszynowski said. "But we had two members become full, patch-wearing members."
In the Calvert communities of Owings and North Beach, ATF agents and sheriff's deputies raided three residences and a business belonging to Hells Angels members about 5 a.m., officials said.
The raids resulted in the arrest of John Beal, 37, the president of Hells Angels in Calvert, and Lewis J. Hall, 33, the vice president. Beal, a North Beach resident and owner of a tattoo shop, and Hall, an Owings resident and owner of an auto body shop, were charged with illegally possessing firearms, conspiracy and possessing narcotics, officials said.
Club member Cornelius Alexander III of Waldorf also was charged with federal gun violations, authorities said.
No one responded to messages left at the group's clubhouse seeking a comment on the arrests. It was unclear yesterday whether Beal, Hall and Alexander had retained lawyers.
The arrests represent the first major attempt by federal law enforcement to break up Maryland's first chapter of Hells Angels, a national motorcycle club that authorities have long accused of being involved in criminal activity.
The eight-man chapter was formed in January in North Beach, a town of about 2,000 on the Chesapeake Bay in northern Calvert. Calvert sheriff's officials say the group has caused friction with other Southern Maryland motorcycle clubs, such as the Pagans and the Iron Horsemen. In May 2002, Hall was shot outside a bar in Anne Arundel County and authorities arrested a Pagans member.
Sgt. Ricky Thomas of the Calvert sheriff's office said the arrests of the Hells Angels leaders in Maryland "validated our position that this is a criminal organization."
"Any time you take out the leadership of a criminal enterprise, you pretty much take out its ability to carry out criminal action," Thomas said.
February 7, 2004
By Laura Barnhardt / Sun Staff
A prospective member of Hells Angels has been charged in the shooting last month of two rival motorcycle gang members at an Edgemere nightclub, Baltimore County police said yesterday. Wallace Schnople, 45, of the 2800 block of Pulaski Highway was being held without bail at the county detention centerlast night charged with two counts of attempted first degree murder......I'm not going to type the whole article but you get the idea.
Yeah, these are the types that make a community very livable....As long as you don't mind your family dodging bullets!
disdog, you might find that many others share your general views, but it still doesn't answer the question of how they "ruined" your show. My point is, their presence at Sturgis never ruined my "experience" there, but then I know better than to go to "their" bar and take a picture.
If you and the rest of the public don't want them there, don't patronize their booth, or voice your complaints with the registration department. Many shows have a rule, "No Colors" or club affiliations shown, which I'm surprised hasn't been challenged by the Civil Liberties Union! lol
On my very first cycle trip in 1972, I got hassled by some outlaw group at a rest stop in Iowa. On a rainy, 40 degree day, they wanted my rainsuit. Finally arriving in Galveston, I came across some Bandido's who thought it was really cool that some farm kid rode a Triumph all the way from Minnesota for Splash Weekend.
Btw, your protrayer of policemen as jack-booted, Nazi-looking might be the most offensive part of your post. JMHO
"Sgt. Ricky Thomas of the Calvert sheriff's office said the arrests of the Hells Angels leaders in Maryland "validated our position that this is a criminal organization."
If all it takes is an arrest to "validate" a position and you are the group that can make arrests, why not validate your position by making arrests? Where are the convictions related to these arrests?
I also fail to understand why folks didn't ask for their money back and leave if they were uncomfortable with vendors who apparently were a recognized participant of the event? The promoter is only interested in the bottom line and if people refuse to support the event as "organized" by the promoter they (the promoter) will make changes.
Keeping your mouth shut and leaving money in the promoter's pocket doesn't help the promoter determine how the event should be organized.
djs_dog - If you look hard enough, I'm sure you can find arrest records for people from all walks of life for the same offenses. The last time I checked the US constitution an arrest isn't the same as a conviction.
Good/bad people come in all shapes and sizes. The outlaw biker image is very easy to assign a stereotype. If you don't care for what you think they represent just leave 'em alone and I'm sure they will do the same.
I was in Sturgis in 1974, about a hundred yards away from where the infamous knife fight broke out between the Bandido's and Angels. I got on my bike and left, and swore to never come back, which I didn't do, until 1994. There is now an immense police presense at Sturgis, which I do appreciate.
That one bad "experience" cost me the next 20 years of what could have been fun. Pretty much the same thing happened at Laughlin a couple years ago, only the weapons of choice were guns rather than knives.
"I was pissed because i couldn't get a beer! So what?"
So you're blaming the "Hell's Angels" for the actions of the county.
"The point is that these jerk offs ruined it with their presence and the feeling was pretty much unaminous through out the show."
Did you conduct a poll of members in attendance, or is this just your unbiased opinion??
"The Hell's Angels are trying to take over the turf."
Are other clubs not trying to expand, like the Bandidos or the Outlaws??
"Maybe you guys support drug dealing, illegal guns and explosives etc."
That's kind of out there and you know it....personally, I can say that I am against all of the above, and do not condone any of it, at all. One has to remember though, when cops make a bust on ANY clubmember, they (the cops) will use whatever necessary to demonize or trump up charges of said individuals.
What is an "illegal gun"? That is for the "courts" to define, as the legal defination changes so often! I don't believe that hunting rifles or semi-automatic rifles are "illegal guns".
What constitutes "explosives"? Anything capable of causing an explosion?? Match heads, when cut, and packed tightly into a container, can cause one heck of an explosion.
djs-dog - got on my first bike - a Honda 305 superhawk - when I was 16 - on my first triumph 650 Bonnieville when I was 17 - got my first Harley 1969 - a 1954 panhead dresser - which I chopped - and I am now 54 years old so you do the math and you can figure out how long I have been riding - The clubs are here to stay and I am all for it - Oh, you can bet I ride - I don't scooter - and I can ride with anyone - and I have no problems riding along side of the red and white - back in 69 & 70 & 71 & 72 I did ride with outlaws - and I would ride with outlaw bikers anytime - better than riding with members of the chess club - and if that individual that you mentioned had ask permission to take pictures of the angels he would not have gotten beat up - this dude showed them no respect and insulted them right to their faces by not asking for permission - had he asked I know they would have said yes go ahead - get use to it djs_dog - our kind are here and we are not going away and we won't be asking you for permission if we can be on the planet
djs_dog - man I got to tell ya - I haven't laughed outloud this hard in a long while - I am glad you posted your "Hells Angels Ruin Motorcycle Show" post - I needed a good laugh - its been a hard winter here in NY and this was a nice little break - I printed out all of the previous posts and will be showing them to friends - I am sure they will get a nice laugh out of these posts too - ride on djs_dog but make sure if you run into the "Red and White" or any member of any other club - do the right thing if only for yourself - show that club member a little respect and he(they)will "never" bother you - not ever - and do you really think those of us who are in the know are going to belive that the Angels are shooting up the neighborhoods and getting you hooked on drugs - ha ha ha ha ha ha - that makes me laugh - there sure are some gullible people out there that don't know their asses from a hole in the ground - when is the last time a Hells Angel tried to get you hooked on drugs. The reason the tap was shut off at the show is because the authorities don't like anybody that isn't just like them - youu probably should have attended the policeman's ball.
Why did they pull the liquor license? Because of something that might happen? That's good logic. Heck, using that logic, they ought to pull the permit/license for the Daytona 500 tomorrow, since it has a well documented history of causing DEATH to some of it's participants.
"Well... I went to Sonny and Chucks book signing and I didn't have to dodge any bullets."
Now they are celebrities? (dog shakes head in disgust)
Quote66panhead: "Are other clubs not trying to expand, like the Bandidos or the Outlaws??
And your point is what? that the other clubs are expanding so more criminal activity is also good? They take over turf for one reason and that is for power and when they do violence always happens. You can't dispute any of this.
quote bluto:I would ride with outlaw bikers anytime - better than riding with members of the chess club - and if that individual that you mentioned had ask permission to take pictures of the angels he would not have gotten beat up - this dude showed them no respect and insulted them right to their faces by not asking for permission - had he asked I know they would have said yes go ahead - get use to it djs_dog - our kind are here and we are not going away and we won't be asking you for permission if we can be on the planet
Bluto,what's your hang up with the chess club? Do they intimidate you?...AHEM! I think your a little confused Bluto I didn't mention any body getting beat up when taking a picture...Yeah, that's a good reason to beat the sh*t out of somebody because they took your picture. I think your right Bluto everyone should just beat the sh*t out of somebody when they get their picture taken...What the hell is "our kind" You guys think your special or something because you wear a patch on your back?...Some elite group?...This is laughable! Then you want to kill someone else because they are wearing a different patch than yours? You all are legends in your own mind....get real! and remember Bluto those that show respect get respect. It works both ways....
Everyone has conveniently left out the shootings. So I guess it's ok. Looks like you all overwelmingly support outlaw clubs....Hey, like I said before to each his own.
One more thing. With all due respect to all posting. Different experiences leave different impressions on all people. My experiences around clubs has never been good and mind has already been made up....It's kind of sad because while at the show I saw a friend that I grew up with that was wearing Hell's Angels colors. We had not seen each other in years. He said we have to get together and take a ride some day. I said great let's do it. I said do me a favor. Leave the colors at home and just come as the old friend that I knew before....
djs_dog- "Everyone has conveniently left out the shootings."- What shootings?? There were shootings at the Mid Atlantic Motrocycles show at the Maryland State Fairgrounds? No? Then it must be that some H-A members in attendance were proven to have been involved in a shooting sometime previously? No? What shootings are being "conveniently left out" then? Oh, now I get it. The shootings "being conveniently left out" are the ones that occurred at a different location, by other members, at a different time. I find it interesting that you conveniently include shootings that didn't happen at this event in order to try and validate your position that the H-A presence ruined the show.
Don't take this as support for the H-A, or any other group. Take it as support for the U.S. Constitution, and it's premise of "innocent until proven guilty". Or do you think that premise should only apply to some people, and not others? John Ashcroft loves people with those types of views, it makes his job of gutting the Constitution easier.