Even though 99.999999999999 percent of bikers are down to earth people who don't seek out violence, one of the worst stereotypes that bikers face is that of the BIKER BRAWLER. We all know that it just takes one or two people who make bad choices to give the rest of us a bad wrap. That being said, here are a few of the events in history which have attributed to our rough and tumbled reputation.
The Rumble Down Under
In 2006 at an MMA fight in Queensland Australia the Hells Angels and Finks Motorcycle club decided the fight wasn't exciting enough and started their own brawl. But the brawl turned into a shoot out and the the main event fight between Nathan "Carnage" Corbett and Steve McKinnon was called off. The video shows footage of the carnage and brawl.
The Hollister Riot
The Hollister riot was an event that occurred at the American Motorcyclist Association sanctioned Gypsy Tour motorcycle rally in Hollister, California from July 3–6, 1947.Many more motorcyclists than expected flooded the small town to watch the annual rallies as well as to socialize and drink. A very few of the motorcyclists got out of control and caused a commotion in the town, although at the end of the event, the damage was considered minor.The incident, known afterwards as the Hollister riot, was sensationalized by the press with reports of bikers "taking over the town" and "pandemonium" in Hollister. The strongest dramatization of the event was a staged photo of a drunken man sitting on a motorcycle surrounded by beer bottles. It was published in Life magazine and it brought national attention and negative opinion to the event. The Hollister riot helped to give rise to the outlaw biker image.
The Biggest Little Shootout
This next brawl hit real close to home. In 2011 Thousands of bikers from across the USA had made their way to Sparks / Reno, NV as part of the annual five-day “Street Vibrations” festival. Just inside John Ascuaga's Nugget Casino and Hotel the Hells Angels and the Vagos motorcycle clubs had a deadly shoot out that resulted in the slaying of the Hells Angels San Jose Chapter leader Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew. In addition two Vagos club members were shot and wounded as well. Some say the fight stemmed from a feud at a California Starbucks between the two rival gangs.
Twelve hours later after the brawl a drive by shooting occurred leaving another Vagos member hospitalized and what retaliation was next on everyone's mind. The Biker rally was shut down in the City of Sparks and placed in a State of Emergency, The City of Reno was on high alert,and the hospital that housed the wounded Vagos members was also locked down.
Following several arrests, San Jose Police Sgt. Larry Day commented: “In the outlaw motorcycle gang culture, Jeff Pettigrew was a local icon in San Jose, a very well-respected member within the ranks of the Hells Angels. This incident could definitely result in retaliation against the Vagos, and a full-blown war that may result in deadly violence in San Jose and throughout California.”
A week later the Sparks police caught their suspect Ernesto Gonzales the President of the Vagos motorcycle gang’s Nicaraguan chapter. He stated it was all self defense. “I was trying to kill both Hells Angels because they were over my brother([fellow Vagos). They were kicking him. And they had a piece on them. Yes, I did try to kill them...It was either my brother got shot or them.”
Nevertheless, the jury rejected claims the ex-Vagos president had been acting in self-defense when he fatally shot Pettigrew during the fight, which also sent patrons at John Ascuaga’s Nugget casino diving for safety behind slot machines and blackjack tables. He was found Guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.
The River Run Riot
In 2002 Laughlin, Nevada was the spot for the notorious spot for the violent River Run Riot. A confrontation between the Hells Angels and the Mongols. The conflict began when members of the Hells Angels went to Harrah's Laughlin to confront members of the Mongols whom allegedly harassed vendors that sold Hells Angels related merchandise. Mongol Anthony Barrera, 43, was stabbed to death, and two Hells Angels, Jeramie Bell, 27, and Robert Tumelty, 50, were shot to death. Police report states there were 65 knives and nine guns found in and around the casino.
Many believe that the members of Hell’s Angels did nothing until they were force to protect their fellow members. The case is still unclear as there are just too many secrets still. The code of silence will never be broke so the truth will never come out.
The riot changed the event and you can see it on the ride in every year. Police cars line the sides of the interstate leading in, signs are displayed telling bikers not to wear their colors or any gang related clothing and streets are overrun with heavily armed cops. The days of burning your tires at this event are over, one rider describes. Even in the small towns, outside the main attraction where you can put up your feet and drink a beer is crawling with cop cars.
WILD HOGS V. DEL FUEGOS
Now this next brawl, was so bloody, so violent, so brutal...there is just no words to describe it. Just watch the video and see for yourself. Warning the violence in this video may not be suitable for all audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.