How the River Run Riot changed history

Nevada Casino Harrah’s Laughlin – April 27,2002

Hells Angels and The Mongols started a brawl that left dozens in the hospital, six members on both sides sent to prison and sent one biker evading capture for  six years. On February 23, 2007 Hells Angels members James Hannigan and Rodney Cox were sentenced to two years in prison.  “Cox and Hannigan were captured on videotape confronting Mongols members inside the casino.”

Laughlin River Riot Brawl Video

Police report states there were 65 knives and nine guns found in and around the casino.  Mongol- Anthony Barrera, 43, was stabbed to death

Hells Angels – Jeramine Bell, 27, and Robert Tumely, 50, were shot to death

Frederick Donahue was indited afterwards and evaded police for six years until he turned himself in.

Thirty-six  others had there charges dropped and several legal suits followed the years to come. 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.

“They get the message…”, a cop explains. “They know we aren’t joking around”. Even with all the police cars and extra “protection”, motorcyclist say there is plenty to do and they wouldn’t miss it. Why would they? The event has some of the wildest nightlife and the most beautiful scenery around. The event has changed but most would say for the good. You can bring you mother or grandmother to this event…if she is a biker.

Casino Held Liable for Injuries During Biker Shootout

Laughlin Harrahs, site of 2002 biker club shootout Associated Press Graphic

A civil jury has said that Harrahs Casino in Laughlin Nevada is liable for injuries suffered by patrons during the 2002 brawl between the Hells Angels and Mongols Motorcycle clubs.

Las Vegas attorney Brent Bryson on Thursday told the Las Vegas Sun newspaper the same eight-person Clark County District Court jury that found for his clients late Wednesday has returned today to begin determining the dollar amount of damages.

“We obviously disagree with the finding of liability.” said the lead defense attorney, James Olson.  Olson indicated the Casino may appeal.

“This wasn’t going to be stopped,” he said of the incident, in which he said Hell’s Angels members stormed into the casino past two armed police officers.

One of the plaintiffs, Michael Bower, claimed in the lawsuit he was caught in the crossfire between the Hell’s Angels and Mongols, with the bikers armed with guns, knives and other weapons. Bower said he dove off his gaming chair to seek cover and suffered a back injury as well as emotional trauma and flashbacks to combat during the Vietnam War.

(excerpted from the Las Vegas Sun News)


Hells Angels and Vagos In Shootout Near Prescott Arizona

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s deputies and SWAT members who responded to reports about gunfire on Saturday August 21st, around 12:15pm discovered the Hell’s Angels and Vagos Motorcycle clubs were involved in a altercation that resulted in over 50 shots being exchanged between members of the two clubs.

Police are not saying what prompted the shooting, which injured 5, and according to various reports at least one other club member was injured and fled the scene and has not been located.

photo from venicebeach.org

Observers say the altercation was unavoidable given the close proximity of the rival club member residences.

According to the website Clutch and Chrome, a member of the Hells Angels lives at 2640 Yuma Drive and a member of the Vagos gang lives at 2920 Yuma Drive.

Witnesses told police the Hells Angels were having a party at their members house when a group of the Vagos rode by and were fired upon.

A total of twenty-seven Vagos and Hells Angels club members were arrested on a variety of  charges such as  Aggravated Assault, Attempted Homicide, Endangerment, Participation in a Criminal Street Gang, and Unlawful Assembly.

The Vagos were formed in San Bernardino, California during the 1960′s. The club’s insignia is Loki, the Norse god of mischief, riding a motorcycle and members commonly wear green and are reported to have approximately 300 members among 24 chapters located in the American states of Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and three chapters located in Mexico.

The Hells Angels are incorporated as the Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation. Their primary motto is “When we do right, nobody remembers. When we do wrong, nobody forgets”  Currently, Hells Angels

photo from NYDailyNews.com

claims 3000 to 3500 members and more than 230 chapters in 27 countries. Membership has increased by 10% annually during the past five years, according to law enforcement records.