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Thursday, 11 March 2010

Hells Angels threats by a local gang to burn any pub they drink at and shoot them off their bikes.

Hells Angels threats by a local gang to burn any pub they drink at and shoot them off their bikes.
Police will be out in force tomorrow as gang members arrive for a poker run, which marks the anniversary of the first public outing last year in Nelson of patched members of the Red Devils, a puppet gang of the Hells Angels.
That poker run saw more than 200 bikes, with 30-plus patched gang members, including four Red Devils, ride from the Turf Hotel in Stoke through Moutere, Riwaka, Tapawera and back. Today the Turf pulled out of Saturday's run.The threat has come from Southern Skinheads president "Max" who told Newstalk ZB the Angels were not welcome in Nelson because they would bring P with them. "We will burn any pub they drink at, any motel they stay at and may take it to the extent we will probably try to shoot them off their motorbikes," he said.
Nelson Bays police area commander Detective Inspector John Winter said police were anticipating a large contingent of motorcycle gangs including the Hells Angels arriving from the North Island.Police would be out in force. They would have a zero tolerance in road policing and other offending, and that would be made clear in Wellington when the bikies caught the ferry and again on their arrival in the South Island, he said.
"We have had discussions with a number of people and have nothing to suggest any confrontation, and we will be making sure there is not," he said.Senior Sergeant Grant Andrews, who is heading Operation Joker 2 which will police the gang presence over the weekend including the poker run, said police were not aware of the Southern Skinheads being in Nelson."We are looking into it and taking the threats seriously," he said.A flier for the Nelson Bays Poker Run says it supports St John, Nelson, and the event is in association with the Turf Hotel. The run has a $20 entry donation, and prizes include $1000 for first, $500 for second and $250 for third.

This year the flier does not list other sponsors. Mr Andrews said: "There was quite a bit of ill-feeling against the gang presence on the poker run last year and that has seen people who supported it in the past pull back and not support it this year."

Nelson Area Committee of St John chairman Dennis Creed said it was not having anything to do with the poker run and would not accept any money. "They've been great support in the past, but for some reason St John in the region, not just St John locally, has indicated that that support has to be withdrawn."The Turf Hotel today pulled its sponsorship for the event. A spokesman, who did not want to be identified, said it was concerned about negative publicity the run had received and its shareholders wanted to rebuild the pub's image. The pub is owned by four Nelson people, two of whom started managing it three weeks ago.The decision was made to pull the sponsorship at a meeting this morning.Tapawera Hotel manager Cory Bennett said the riders didn't cause any trouble last year when they stopped by and they had "good manners" when they lined up to buy drinks."They have one drink and they are gone. Half of them only drink Coke or raspberry and Coke."Last year they had lunch at the pub, and this year they would be dining at Kaiteriteri, Ms Bennett said. After lunch, the riders would call at the Tapawera Hotel.Their presence was not menacing and many took off their patched jackets before they entered the pub, Ms Bennett said. She was happy donating money to St John, but wouldn't say how much the pub gave. "It's for a really good cause."A Riwaka Hotel spokesperson had not heard from the poker run organiser and was not aware that the event was on this weekend. Last year, publican Peter Beauchamp said he would support the event again, if the organisers produced a balance sheet and banned club patches.Last year, following the Red Devils public display, the Lost Breed Motorcycle Club spoke out publicly saying Nelsonians should be worried about new gangs setting up in the region. It also said it did not condone the use of the methamphetamine drug P, and made clear it did not want confrontation.

A Lost Breed spokesman declined to comment on gangs coming for this weekend's poker run.

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