Seattle Cop Held In Hells Angels Shooting In Sturgis Bar.

The shooting occurred about 1 a.m. Saturday at “Loud American Roadhouse Bar” on Main Street in Sturgis after a confrontation between members of the Hells Angels and the Iron Pigs, a motorcycle group composed of police officers. An off-duty Seattle police officer who has been detained after a member of the Hells Angels motorcycle club was shot and wounded during the Sturgis motorcycle rally has been previously disciplined, according to a report in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Police officials have not released the name of the officer involved in the shooting, or four other officers with him at the time, but sources confirmed to the Seattle Post Intelligencer that he is a 43-year-old detective who works for the Seattle police Pawn Shop Squad and is a police guild board member. The officer also is known throughout the department as an avid motorcycle rider. Seattle police say they were notified of the incident, and that 4other Seattle officers were also present during the shooting. According to the Associated Press, all five officers were relieved of duty pending an investigation by South Dakota authorities, Seattle police spokesman Sean Whitcomb said. The Seattle Police Department sent a team of investigators to Sturgis to gather more information on the shooting.


44 Responses to “Seattle Cop Held In Hells Angels Shooting In Sturgis Bar.”

  1. 1 Bryan Aug 11th, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    My first thought is what is an off-duty cop doing with a firearm in a bar?!

  2. 2 Rogue Aug 12th, 2008 at 8:04 am

    They were keeping details very quiet about this in Sturgis other than saying a cop that was a member od the Iron Pigs has shot a Hells Angel.
    It looked like it was trying to be kept quiet in hopes they could cover it up.
    Just because he is a cop and other cops ar handeling it there is reason to watch and see what happens.
    I have seen other questionable incidents involving the Filthy Pigs and maybe the organization needs to be looked into as well

  3. 3 rodent Aug 12th, 2008 at 9:06 am

    coverup in sturgis…..cop will probably walk with a slap on his wee-wee…….if you or I got caught with a loaded gun in a bar we would never get out of jail… about the pigs with himn? Carrying also?

  4. 4 Slag Aug 12th, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Will this be swept under the rug by the police dept.?

  5. 5 tm Aug 12th, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    are these “clubers” too coward to go to a rally unarmed? tough club aren’t they

  6. 6 T Aug 12th, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    The detective said he always carries a gun at motorcycle rallies because he knows that a motorcycle club composed of cops and firefighters attracts negative attention from “outlaw” bikers.

  7. 7 steveb Aug 13th, 2008 at 9:27 am

    guns, liquor, LEO’s (the biggest, meanest, most empowered club of all) and patched clubs are a pretty volatile mix viewed through most any lens…add the heat of Sturgis and you got a heapin’ helpin’ of shitstorm brewing…

  8. 8 Gar Aug 13th, 2008 at 11:22 am

    A police officer is required to carry a firearm at all times. Bars, hospitals, post offices are not off limits. Lets let the investigation take it’s course before we make any calls on whether it was a rightous shooting or not. If the cop was in the wrong then they need to burn his ass as well as his buddies.

    I just returned from Sturgis and the word on the streets there was that the HA started the shit with the cops and then pulled a knife when the Iron Pigs surrounded the HA. The story was that the HA approached the Iron Pigs and “ordered” them to remove their colors. Obviously that didn’t work out as he had planned. Again, I can’t say for sure what happened as I wasn’t there, just giving the word on the street.

  9. 9 OMG Aug 13th, 2008 at 11:27 am

    From the comments I have read I must respond. Yes the Iron Pigs is a law enforcement motorcycle club. An investigation will be done to see if it was a justifiable shooting. If I were to speculate, I’m very certain it was. Many citizens have no clue as to what 1%r clubs like the Hells Angels are about. If you want to align yourself with them, prepare to be victimized. Clubs like the Hells Angels are urban terrorists that have been linked to murder, assaults, rapes, prostitution, extortion, manufacturing and selling methamphetamines, auto and motorcycle thefts. They make a shallow attempt to deceive the public by strapping toys to their bikes to give to under privileged kids. The Hells Angels try to bully everyone across the country. That is why they are constantly in the news. If you take note of their T-Shirts and quotes “Three can keep a secret if two are dead”, “Snitches are a dying breed” and “School of hard knocks”, just to name a few. They are sending you a message that they are bullies and will cause trouble with anyone for no reason. Unfortunately there are misguided “Boot-Lickers” who scream support the red & white. Most of them are afraid so they go along with the anarchists within the biker community. Thank GOD for law enforcement to keep them from infringing on the rights of law abiding citizens

  10. 10 Mike Greenwald Aug 13th, 2008 at 1:04 pm
  11. 11 Slag Aug 13th, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Check out this pig’s track record…On Aug. 12, 2005, he was again accused of getting into an altercation, that time at a Tacoma restaurant while off duty.

    He at one point allegedly threatened to shoot the restaurant manager, who had asked him to leave.
    at a Seattle Resturant.

    Instaigated a fight at a Seattle Seahawks game.

    Shoots unarmed Hell’s Angel in bar.

    Use common sense here. Mix outlaw biker clubs with filthy pigs clube and figure out what can happen. I don’t trust the cops or the Hell’s Angels. I have been at a bar where the filthy pigs ride to and they do have a attitude don’t f__k with us are you will pay. How can a gathering of pigs be so tough that they must shoot a unarmed biker ?

  12. 12 Gar Aug 13th, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    The police are not releasing the names of the officers involved in the shooting. WHY? If that were me involved my name would be from here to China and back by now. This information is a matter of Public Information and the names of all involved should be released immediately.

  13. 13 Pop Aug 13th, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    So OMG, I guess I ought to take umbrage since you are calling members of my family terrorists. How about paranoid delusion? Does that have a place in your scorched earth attack?
    I don’t have a personal gripe with LE because I’m older, a little smarter and there’s people I enjoy the company of that wear badges. But to use your yardstick… ” linked to murder, assaults, rapes, prostitution, extortion, manufacturing and selling methamphetamines, auto and motorcycle thefts” to measure by, there’s benn more than a few cops that could get painted with the same brush.
    You bet there’s thugs with colors. Same in uniform. You bet there’s good cops who are not in it to strike terror into the hearts of little old ladies and OMG’s. Same goes for patches.
    Get your thinking wrapped around the concept that every person is different and you may sound a little less like some strident, self ordained moral barometer and more like a thinking person.

  14. 14 Nicker Aug 13th, 2008 at 5:18 pm


    Thanks for the link to the article.

    “…sources said it might have been sparked because the officers were displaying colors or other identifying markings associated with their club…”

    Shades of the bad old days?
    Have things really changed?

    Years ago the HA “relieved” the Marauders of their club colors in a rather hostile takeover….
    Not too long ago the HA “Incorporated” the Boozefighters. Become a pledge or get out. Was that a hostile takeover…??? .

    Years ago a close friend was “made an offer, for his sportster, that he couldn’t refuse.” Not too long ago another young friend “turned over” his collectible sportster (among other things) to “the boys.”

    It’s interesting to see so many of today’s “wanna-bees” fawn over or imitate the clubbers of the old days. These people have no clue as to what went on back then.

    As a youngster i was drawn to the club scene because this is where ya found the people who were really into scooter. But after a while it became apparent that increasingly more of these people were not interested in scooters at all. They were there either for the notoriety or other dubious activities.

    Condemnation of all MC clubbers is not the point. MC clubs are probably as varied in social dynamic as any other social, political, or commercial organizations. Just like bikes, we are NOT ALL THE SAME.

    It’s obvious that the mass infusion Boomers into the Bike Scene hasn’t eliminated or even diluted the “malevolent non-motorcycle” element of the bad-old-days. Hell, that should be obvious to even a casual observer of today’s MC scene. If nothing else, the lack of interest in becoming a skilled rider or even a knowledgeable MC owner should says it all.

    So, i guess the question is, what’s going on in today’s MC scene and how thin is this veneer of “toy-run-respectability?”

    But think about it in this context:
    Our Biker heritage, that of the rugged individual, comes to us through the Cowboy of the old west and the Motorcycle Gypsies of the depression. These are the true 1% , not petty criminals glorified by Hollywood and the media.


  15. 15 StrokerGuy Aug 13th, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    For years I have watched the “Man” hassle good fun loving bikers that for the most part just want to get drunk and party amoung their friends from Sturgis to Hollister. The whole time at every venue the cops hassle us for just having a good time and doing our thing. Enforcement is done selectively to “protect and serve” the public according to the establishment. Yet the vast majority of the public could care less about a group of bikers having a good time. Well places like Sturgis call in thousands of cops from all over the country to help “protect” the public. What really goes on is that they have created a huge revenue generating machine, one that feeds on the poor biker that can’t afford the fancy lawyers that the upper crust can. The less affluent can be easily manipulated by the system because they can’t afford to argue with the courts and they are lead like sheep through the revolving doors of the Sturgis legal system. Don’t question your punishment, pay your fines, shut up, go on your way, be sure and come back next year (we’ll need your money again). I’ve read and witnessed many stories of the fleecing of the biker crowd.
    One year a poor lady vendor was arrested outside Sturgis and ticketed for driving under a suspended license from another state. She was forced to close her booth losing valuable selling time twice to attend court. She was not driving on a suspended license at all and it was proven so. They had made a mistake. Even after proving it was an error the prosecutor told the judge “Well then the state would be willing to drop the charges after she pays the court costs.” Even a Sturgis judge drew the line at that point and said “Pay costs of what, it’s not her fault?”
    This story summed up the Sturgis “system” for me, that’s how it works.
    Now, I hope this FUCKING cop goes to jail like he should. Now, its time to show how the system should deal with a violent criminal.
    Otherwise fuck Sturgis and fuck the system.

  16. 16 a 1 cycles Aug 14th, 2008 at 8:56 am

    just because they put on a unifrom doesnt make them above the law, this morning in west palm beach channel 5 news broke a story on a local officer who has been arrested for stealing the old catalytic converters out of the police motor pool garage, a whole dumpster worth $2,200 dollars profit and loss of job, HA, cop,bandito, whatever you call yourself, remember one thing they all put their pants on one leg at a time. they are human and prone to all the pitfalls and mistakes the rest of us are.just an amusing thread with the input from everyone who wasnt there and doesnt have all the facts, agreed they should release all the facts like it says above if i did it everyone from california to conneticut would know by 8 a.m. the next morning.

  17. 17 OMG Aug 14th, 2008 at 9:59 am


    I agree with some of your statements, but very few. My yardstick is FACT and you know it. There have been dirty cops on the force. They are dealt with, fired and face jail time like anyone else. This whole incident started because the Hells Angels think they have a RIGHT to tax (extort) money from state rocker clubs or remove your colors. Maybe the puppet clubs in the farm leagues will. Not a legitimate LE Club. You make me laugh to say “there’s been more than a few cops that could get painted with the same brush.” The difference is Hells Angels embarce that behavior. Cops get fired and convicted. As far as sticking up for your family, I respect you for that.

  18. 18 RIZ Aug 14th, 2008 at 11:18 am

    A) If ANYBODY ever came up to me & demanded I take off MY vest there would be a fight.

    B) Sounds like the big-bad Red & White made a common mistake: he brought a knife to a gun fight.

    Although I wasn’t there (THAT night) I have seen these “angels” in action before; they go up to someone with a club vest on & stomp the crap out of them (or worse) until the vest comes off. They always outnumber their victim’s and are usually bigger. They usually make the ‘prospect’s’ do it. They are bully’s & punks… They just happened to pick on the wrong guy.

    No tears from me, no matter what this cop did ‘once upon a time’ back home, who gives a shit? Ask yourself, if a bunch of gang-bangers surrounded YOU and tried to make YOU their bitch & pulled a knife on YOU… what would YOU do if you had a gun…? I know what I’d do & I’ll tell you what… he damn sure wouldn’t in any “fair” condition afterwards…

  19. 19 Gar Aug 14th, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    RIGHT ON RIZ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. 20 BO Aug 14th, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    Let me tell you something RIZ….It’ ain’t over till it’s over.

  21. 21 billybob Aug 14th, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    Thank goodness the big bad ENFORCERS M/C wasn’t there,or there would have been certain death.People getting trampled on from the ENFORCERS running their pussy asses away,like I have seen them do before.They call thereselves a Law Enforcement club!HA!HA!HA! about 10 to 15 percent either is or was Law Enforcement,the rest just wish they were.

  22. 22 Nicker Aug 15th, 2008 at 2:56 am


    “…Get your thinking wrapped around the concept that every person is different …”

    Back in 1962 (or so) there was an Examiner article on the SF HA club, with a picture of some dude pulling a wheely on his pan head. Wish i still had that picture!
    Word was that was one cool club…. Artists, Doctors, Bohemians… and some very skilled scooter jockeys.

    But then, we all know what (or should i say who) instigated the “Federal Gang Task Force” of the late 60’s.
    What was-zat you were saying about “… murder, assaults, rapes, prostitution, extortion, manufacturing and selling methamphetamines, auto and motorcycle thefts…”

    Simply can’t remember a damn thing to recommend the Oakland club.
    (outside-a the occasional matchbox at “The Forum”)
    “…only witnesses are survivors…”
    Gee-Zuz….. right out of the 1930’s Anarchist handbook….. 🙁

    Not my idea of the 1%


  23. 23 Nicker Aug 15th, 2008 at 12:41 pm


    Just in case some one thinks this sorta stuff is just an anomaly:

    RE: (CoCo Times)
    “…eight members of Set Free Soldiers (Christian Biker Gang) in connection with an attempted murder in a bar fight with the Hells Angels…. brawl and stabbing took place at Newport Beach bar (Blackie’s by the Sea)… victims are members of the Hells Angles…. Rose Lambie 65… ‘pastor’ of the Christian group…. authorities say the gang has a religious ministry that recruits people discharged from prison….”

    Just some more gist for the mill.


  24. 24 Pop Aug 15th, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Nicker, I appreciate that you are delivering a point with news reports. I have been in the life for awhile. There’s not much I’m liable to see or read that surprises me, or alters my thinking much.

    I can post ample anecdotal reports to either
    A. promote the wonderful charity or 1%ers
    B. emphasize the crazed indiscretions of cops

    to reinforce my position but neither means much out of context and neither is a true representation any more than popular mythology is.

    All the patch tells me is that they are affiliated. I’m interested in the ride and if a cop wants to ride I’m in. If a member wants to ride I’m in.

    Haven’t been murdered yet, or assaulted by a patch, raped, prostituted, extorted, haven’t bought ice, and have not had a car stolen. I did have a knuckle taken in the 70’s and to this day I don’t know whether it was patches or independents took it, but it could have been either.

    That’s the point. In any group, any club, any niche, it could be anybody that goes off the reservation.

  25. 25 Zoomer Aug 15th, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Interesting comments on the Meade County Times,newspaper of Sturgis. Several cops wrote in denouncing the Iron Pigs,claiming they are not a LEO MC but a group of “thugs”. A “REAL LEMC member” said the difference between the HA and Iron Pigs is the HA don’t disrespect the badge. My question is if the cop and his 4 buddies were threatened, why didn’t he announce himself and show his badge instead of his gun? Just asking?

  26. 26 Nicker Aug 15th, 2008 at 11:00 pm


    “…it could be anybody that goes off the reservation…”

    Point taken.
    Thanks for the dialog.


  27. 27 An Actual Customer Aug 15th, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    I dont think cops have any right to do anything that a normal citizen shouldn’t do just because they have a badge. But as far as the HA, I don’t understand the people who defend them. There may be good people in this “club” but everything I have ever seen or heard about them is bad. So if I was a decent person who just wanted to ride and be with a group of people who had similar interests, why would I choose a group that has nothing but a bad rep?

    Why wouldn’t I start my own club with the people I want to ride with? This isn’t like being stereotyped as a race, because you can change a patch on your back whereas you can’t change your skin color. Start a new club. Why do you want to associate yourself with a group who is known for bad things unless that is what you want to be known as?

  28. 28 Conrad Nicklus Aug 17th, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    I think this needs to take its course. We all know how the Angels work and I would bet that it wont end at this. One of their guys got jacked up by a Cop…I bet the Iron Pigs stay away from certain things for a while. HA are not afraid of cops NOR should they be, I am not.

  29. 29 hammer Aug 17th, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Not backing either party here, but I was there that night, and there were 2 HA guys, 1 from Saskatchawan(sp?) and one from Cali sporting their colors. We left before the band’s last set and weren’t there for the shooting, but if the HA guys were representing and they demanded the cops lose their colors, it looks they bit off more than they could chew.

  30. 30 RIZ Aug 20th, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    Well, the ultimate point is (or should be) FREEDOM. I mean, that is one of the best reasons we ride, right? There are few things in this world that can produce such feelings of power & freedom. When I ride, I feel free, I absorb the day, the sun, the wind, the road. It’s an inter-active journey, almost out of body… Ya just can’t get that in a car. Sometimes when I ride, I think about the unfortunate souls who either never get to or just choose not to ride the open road on two wheels. They just don’t know what they are missing. Especially when I ride through the Black Hills durring Bike Week. No matter how much of a “joke” it’s gotten to become to some people or how commercial it is now, the riding & conversations at the Beer Gardens still does it for me. Being around people who really do ‘get it’ or lookin at the chrome or the freaks or the babes & listening to good music, reminds me of my freedom.

    Just don’t try to take MY freedom away from me man! I’ll let you be who you want to be, just don’t steal my bike, tell me what I can or can’t wear or try to prove how bad you are by gangin’ up on me. If you’re a cop, good for you, just don’t hassle me for ridin’ or cause how I look or who you THINK I am. The Golden Rule Bro’s & Bro-ette’s it is how we should all live.

  31. 31 Mike Greenwald Aug 20th, 2008 at 2:39 pm



    Sent to me by Gringo Mark:

    Our brother Korey got pulled over last night on 84th and Pecos. Needless to
    say he had to spend a couple of hours in the pokey due to an outstanding
    traffic warrant.
    This is what the Adams County sheriff’s deputy told him:
    For the next two weeks during the DNC in Denver:
    1) Any patch holder cruising through the Denver Metro area will get pulled
    over and they will run a check on your license. No reason, or cause needed
    other than we are considered to be part of extremist organization. This is
    part of a Homeland security measure, no probable cause is needed or required

    2) The Sheriff’s Deputy also stated that we pass on to all out brothers to
    stay clear of Denver during the DNC. Again, they will absolutely pull any
    and all patch holders over and run them through an on the spot background
    The deputy offered this as a fair warning and advised us to stay low for the
    next two weeks

  32. 32 OMG Aug 21st, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    See what your wonderful HA’s have started by trying to bully a LE Club

  33. 33 Reality Check Aug 24th, 2008 at 1:25 am

    The real issue is the term, “LEMC” so many MC’s throw this term out there but very few qualify. A True LEMC would have never allowed themselves to get into that situation in the first place. A True LEMC is made up of Active or Retired Law Enforcement Officers, as a majority. If your members consist of LEO’s Firemen & and like minded civilians, then you are just a MC, or maybe a LE Support club. It’s simple; a True LEMC is 90% cops anything else is a Wannabe LEMC. There’s nothing wrong with being a regular Independent MC or an LE Support Club, but don’t pretend to be something your not. This causes problems for everyone and tarnished the real LEMC’s. This is as bad as all the idiots claiming to be Navy Seals when in reality most of them weren’t even in the service. Be who you are and be proud of who you are, but never pretend to be something your not.

  34. 34 Crusty Aug 28th, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    The Cop has been charged as well as the HA Member he shot.

    here is a link to the story.

  35. 35 rhonda Sep 5th, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    im sure the seattle investigators will do as they should do in this case as far as the oficer goes.. no one knows for sure just what went on in that bar. in the state of washington anyone can APPLY for a permit to carry a gun…not just cops.
    im assuming if it involves hells angels there is more to the story that we dont know right now.
    lets just all wait and see……

  36. 36 sidewinder Sep 5th, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    Let’s get some facts straight, the Iron Pigs are a Cop Club, then why are they wearing an outlaw patch? Why are they jumping into a world where they do not belong? Are they law, or outlaw? For them to wear rockers, including a state rocker is extremely offensive to true patch holders. They deserved to get stripped, period!

    If state, or city D.A.’s had any sense, they would ban anyone working in their jurisdictions in an LE capacity from wearing such patches. You can’ t play in my world, play in yours, you can’t be me, so don’t pretend to do so!

    The Iron Pigs throw around some major attitude, don’t kid yourselves. There are other LEMC’s that ride right and don’t play that B.S.

    OMG, you’ve been drinking too much out of the propaganda punch bowl. Oh and if you really want to learn more about MC’s and what they’re really about, watch Sons of Anarchy! They nailed
    it pretty good, didn’t leave much out except to tell you that it’s all B.S. And if the IPMC didn’t hide behind the badge, I’m very sure that club would have been squashed. “Tryin to bully”, give me a break, they couldn’t stand on their own if they weren’t cops.

  37. 37 DEVILMAN Sep 5th, 2008 at 10:07 pm



  38. 38 Nicker Sep 7th, 2008 at 2:38 am


    Law enforcement intelligence reports warned of a potential confrontation between two outlaw motorcycle gangs prior to a Saturday melee in Laughlin that left three bikers dead, according to court documents and interviews with gaming officials.

    So that surveillance video of that fiasco was all staged…?


    Apparently you weren’t around in the bad old days.

    Please….. Don’t piss on my boots and then try telling me it’s rainging….. OK?


  39. 39 FINGERS Sep 18th, 2008 at 9:05 pm


  40. 40 OMG Nov 27th, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    This is for all you cop-hating criminal lovers to read….When the truth comes out…The good guys prevail…. If your a (99%r)citizen, be certain you will be protected from the scum….If your a 1%r(Criminal) we will continue to watch your outlaw colors run!!!!

    Court Rules Cops Can Carry Guns … Nationwide!

    Last update: 3:11 p.m. EST Nov. 18, 2008
    SPRINGFIELD, Va., Nov 18, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ — Good Guys Can Fight Back – Criminals Beware!
    A ruling on a case from South Dakota — where off-duty law enforcement officers were criminally charged for carrying guns despite the authority to do so under the federal ‘Law Enforcement Officer’s Safety Act of 2004’ (LEOSA) — has confirmed that all qualified off-duty and retired law enforcement are allowed, by federal law, to carry a concealed gun for personal self-defense irrespective of state law. The federal law supersedes the crazy, confusing and often conflicted state and local laws that limit legitimate self-defense.
    LEAA’s Executive Director, Jim Fotis said, “When LEAA co-authored the original draft of what became affectionately known as ‘National Cop Carry’ back in the early 1990’s, I knew it would save cops’ lives and give those who choose to resist violent criminals a fighting chance. In 2004 I shook President Bush’s hand after he signed our bill into law and rejoiced that our fight — for more than a decade — was finally over!”
    The local prosecutor’s apparent effort to challenge the federal law, and send a message to all in law enforcement not to carry a gun for self-defense in South Dakota, was soundly rejected! Thankfully, after careful review, the gun charges against the officers were dismissed. “The Judge’s crystal clear and unambiguous legal opinion should be required reading for every prosecutor in the nation so that no other law enforcement professionals, active or retired, have to endure what those officers and agents have endured in South Dakota,” declared Carl Rowan, LEAA’s Vice President.
    Robert Van Norman and Kenneth Orrock, Attorneys for the officers, said “We are pleased with the court’s decision, as it reaffirms the intent of the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act and in effect will protect law enforcement officers and our communities. The law enforcement community should find comfort that LEOSA has been properly applied in this case.”
    A copy of the Judge’s memorandum decision — and extensive background information on LEOSA — is available at the LEAA website:
    The Law Enforcement Alliance of America, Inc., (LEAA) is the nation’s largest not for profit, non-partisan coalition of law enforcement professionals, crime victims, and concerned citizens dedicated to making America safer.
    SOURCE Law Enforcement Alliance of America

  41. 41 Mike Greenwald Nov 27th, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Ya puff up real big. I am impressed. Servant.

  42. 42 Reader Jan 13th, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Posted tonight on the Rapid City Journal:

    Hearing continued for Hells Angel shot in Sturgis bar

    “A Hells Angels motorcycle gang member involved in an August 2008 shooting at a Sturgis bar received a continuation on his hearing Monday afternoon.”

    “Joseph P. McGuire is slated to reappear in court at 3 p.m., Monday, Feb. 23. He was charged in connection with an Aug. 9 incident at the Loud American Roadhouse in Sturgis.”

    “Ronald Smith, an off-duty police officer from Seattle, Wash., shot McGuire during a scuffle. Grand jurors later found that Smith acted in self-defense.”

  43. 43 OMG Jan 16th, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    For all the cop haters to read:

    Iron Pigs, Hells Angels, and universal off duty carry: Behind the scenes in a critical court case

    Part one of a two-part series
    In the law enforcement blogosphere, as well as the mainstream media, the case was controversial from the get-go:
    Four off duty, out-of-state LEOs and a firefighter, all members of the police motorcycle club called the Iron Pigs, get into a heated confrontation with some Hells Angels at a roadhouse during the annual bike rally in Sturgis, S.D. One of the cops shoots one of the HAs. A county grand jury indicts the officers and the fireman for CCW in a drinking establishment, a violation of South Dakota law.
    The law enforcement community reacts with major mixed emotions. If the charges stick, that would be the first successful challenge of the hard-fought and much-cherished federal legislation that allows off duty and retired peace officers to carry legally in any jurisdiction in the U.S. On the other hand, some asked, why did cops show the “poor judgment” of recreating on the same premises with outlaw bikers at an infamous event like the Sturgis rally?
    As the operator of one popular LE listserv put it after a South Dakota court threw out the indictments last November: “A correct decision…But again, the core issue is not to go to places while armed where trouble is a certainty and there is no compelling reason to do so.”
    Is it fair to question the common sense of the officers involved?
    You be the judge. But first, here are some things about the case you may not know.
    THE SETTING. The headlines about cops being in a “brawl” in a “biker bar” were enough to skew the opinions of many civilians and fellow LEOs at the outset—and to distress the involved officers, who felt such terminology unjustly characterized what happened, smeared their reputations, and potentially threatened their careers.
    Despite its suggestive name, the Loud American Roadhouse where the shooting took place is not the stereotypical biker-gang hangout, according to locals. Instead, it’s “a mainstream, family-type restaurant-bar, with food, live music, and dancing, famous for its steak tips,” says Robert Van Norman, a long-time resident of nearby Rapid City and a partner in the law firm of Nooney, Solay & Van Norman, which defended the accused officers.
    One of those officers, whom we’ll call Steven Shane (he asked that his real name not be used), told PoliceOne that he’d been assured “by other LEOs that it was a law enforcement-friendly place.” On a previous visit, he says, the owner himself told him he was glad to have out-of-town officers frequenting the place. “I’ve seen Blue Knights, Renegade Pigs, Sentinels, and other cop motorcycle clubs there,” Shane says. “We all went to the same place, and there was never a problem. OMGs [outlaw motorcycle gangs] never went there. They had places of their own.”
    But that hot and humid night last August, as the week-long rally wound down, a small contingent of Hells Angels did show up, after the Iron Pigs were already there. The HAs, wearing their colors, hung around the large four-sided bar in the center of the place where several members of the IPs were eating, socializing, and listening to the band, along with a noisy throng of some 400 other patrons.
    As we’ll see, the HAs may have been present with a specific purpose in mind.
    THE PLAYERS. The accused officers, all from Washington State, were “highly decorated,” seasoned veterans of law enforcement, “not inexperienced young cops out being cowboys,” Van Norman says.
    Dennis McCoy, a patrol sergeant with Seattle P.D., “has 40 years on the job,” according to Van Norman. Some 50 years’ combined experience is shared by the others, Seattle Det. Ronald Smith; James Rector, assistant port director for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Sr. Customs Ofcr. Scott Lazalde, both based in Blaine, Wash. Smith and Lazalde have Military Police experience, as well.
    Lazalde and his wife had arrived at the Roadhouse after shopping that evening among the rally’s many vendors for new leathers; theirs had been stolen from their bikes during the long ride from the West Coast. The fireman in the group, Erik Pingel, with the U.S. DoD in Colorado, was with his girlfriend. All the males were flying their colors, like every other motorcycle club member at the rally. During the late evening and past midnight, “we were just enjoying a good time socializing before heading home the next day,” says Steven Shane. “We weren’t rubbing elbows and slamming down beers with the Hells Angels.”
    Something that’s called “conjecture” by Van Norman’s associate lawyer, Kenneth Orrock, is considered a very real possibility by Steven Shane: that the HAs had a special interest that night in Det. Ron Smith.
    Shane explains: Smith, whose nickname is “Kilo” from his days as a narc, “had testified in a RICO case against Hells Angels in Seattle. Four of them went to prison. He got threatening phone calls at his house during and after the trial.
    “This was his first year at Sturgis. The HAs could have known he was there. They’ve got a better intelligence network than cops do.”
    Certainly history shows that the gang can be violently proactive when it comes to law enforcement. Although they’re only a tiny minority of the thousands of riders who roar into Sturgis for the annual pilgrimage, “the HAs own property there and there’s an informal understanding that they are the top turf holder in and around town during that week,” says Ted Deeds, chief operating officer for the Law Enforcement Alliance of America (LEAA), which aided in defending the indicted officers.
    “Many folks believe the HAs are a group of criminal predators,” Deeds says. “They had a chance to seize an opportunity to send a message. I think they were going to take on these cops and leave a mark.”
    THE SHOOTING. The first contact with HAs at the jam-packed Roadhouse came around 1 a.m., through a biker whose jacket patches indicated he was a gang prospect, according to Shane. “He came up and talked to me, asking where we were from, who we were. I knew he was gathering intelligence. I figured maybe it was part of his initiation. I didn’t know about Ron’s history with the HAs at that point.
    “The conversation was cordial. We smiled at each other, and he went on to the next guy.” When he reached Smith, the casual cordiality took a nasty turn, Shane says. Soon two “full patch” HAs joined the prospect and “they all got in Ron’s face. It was like they’d gone through the crowd, looking for him.”
    Smith tried to defuse the situation by proposing that the cops and the outlaws stay on opposite sides of the square bar so everyone could enjoy themselves. Sgt. McCoy, known for “a gift of gab that could sweet-talk a rock,” pulled cigars from his pocket and suggested, “Let’s go have a smoke and calm down,” Shane recalls.
    The HAs didn’t bite. The prospect, meanwhile, was busy text-messaging on his cell phone.
    “We were telling each other, ‘Let’s get the women together and get out. We don’t need this,’ ” Shane says. “The HAs were still in Ron’s face. They wouldn’t let it go.”
    As the Iron Pigs worked to pluck their scattered party from the crowd, “an older guy, a civilian, tapped me on the shoulder,” Shane says. “He said he’d heard the HAs talking and ‘They’ve already called their buddies to come here,’ ” apparently from a Hells Angels’ bar about a block away. “He said, ‘They’re waiting for you outside. Watch your back.’ ”
    It wasn’t long before one of the HAs grabbed Shane’s left arm. “I jerked away. Another off duty cop we didn’t know tackled him. I heard a bunch of yelling…and all hell broke loose.”
    Outside, according to attorney Orrock, some HAs were gunning their bikes and peeling rubber down the street, apparently in “an attempt to draw law enforcement away from the Roadhouse.” Perhaps a dozen others “bull-rushed through security” and charged into bar.
    “Ron Smith was cold-cocked; he doesn’t know where it came from,” Orrock says. “The next he knew, he was down on the floor, with his head against the foot rail of the bar. He was getting kicked with boots and taking other types of impact.”
    Shane says: “A Hells Angel got a headlock on him and was pounding him in the face with his fist, upper-cuts to his eye socket and nose. They were trying to kill him.”
    Orrock: “As he was starting to black out, he drew his Glock 23 and fired two shots.” One hit the abdomen, the other the leg of a Hells Angel from California, later identified as 33-year-old Joseph McGuire, seriously wounding him and stopping the attack. “Absolute bedlam broke out as people tried to flee the place,” Orrock says.
    “Smith back-peddled himself into a corner, placed his badge on his chest so it could be seen, and laid his gun in his lap in case he needed to further defend himself. His nose was broken, a tooth was chipped, he’d suffered a concussion, his ribs were badly bruised, and his eye was nearly swollen shut.”
    Attorney Van Norman considers what happened next to be “amazingly selfless.” Scott Lazalde, who moments before had been a target of the HAs’ threatening harassment, grabbed towels and other materials from the bar and worked feverishly to stanch the flow of blood from McGuire’s wounds. “Stay with me!” Lazalde urged him. “Stay with me! You’re gonna be okay.”
    “There were still a lot of Hells Angels around and lots of high emotions,” Van Norman says. “At that moment Scott wasn’t sure even where his wife was in the screaming crowd. But his first aid probably kept this outlaw biker from bleeding out.” LEAA’s Ted Deeds calls Lazalde “a hero.”
    THE GRAND JURY. The Iron Pigs involved in the fracas readily admitted to being armed, as permitted with the approval of their respective agencies under the federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 (popularly known as HR 218). They voluntarily surrendered their weapons to Sturgis police, and Smith’s blood was tested. He was found not to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. “There was never any evidence in any way, shape, or form that anyone in their party was intoxicated that night,” Van Norman says.
    The Meade County grand jury sits continuously during the bike rally, explains Van Norman, and the officers were instructed to appear as “witnesses” on Sunday. During the seven-hour hearing, Shane says they spoke freely and fully about what happened. By contrast, the grand jury transcript shows that a string of Hells Angels called before the panel all pleaded the 5th Amendment.
    Investigation of the shooting had been handed off to the South Dakota attorney general’s Division of Criminal Investigation, a customary procedure. According to Orrock, two DCI agents testified before the grand jury that if they’d been in a similar situation, “they would have acted the same way the Iron Pigs did.”
    “No one ever indicated that we might be in trouble,” Shane says. They went home and returned to their normal routines. Then two weeks later the shit-storm broke. “We learned from the media,” Shane says, “that we’d been indicted on criminal charges.
    “I was flabbergasted. I wondered if that meant I’d lose my job and my house.”

  44. 44 De Oppresso Liber Apr 7th, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    The real 1%r’s, US Army Special Forces!

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