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Monday, December 19, 2016

New York City - Cops, Angels And Parking Spaces

New York City police threw a temper tantrum this week because members of the local charter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club don’t want to talk to them.
The police are investigating the shooting of man named David Martinez last Sunday morning. The Angels don’t know anything. The police insist they do and insist they should cooperate.
Martinez was shot as a result of a parking dispute outside the Angels East Village clubhouse on East Third Street. When the Angels moved in in 1969 the neighborhood, about six blocks from New York University, was down on its luck. Over the years the block has become increasingly fashionable.

Street Parking

Finding a place to park has always been an ordeal in Manhattan. So for years the New York Angels have blocked off six parking spaces in front of their club house with traffic cones. A sign on the front of the clubhouse reads, “No Parking, Except for Authorized Hells Angels.” The Angels have a reputation for aggressively defending what they see as theirs so for years the sign has been enough.
Five days ago, at about one in the morning, Martinez moved one of the safety cones. He was a passenger in a Mercedes caught in traffic on the narrow street in front of the clubhouse. According to multiple news reports, a hired car was blocking their way. Someone who has not yet been identified told him to put the cone back. Martinez’ three companions exited the Mercedes and an argument turned into a fist fight. Then someone shot Martinez in the stomach. Police allege the gunman was a Hells Angels prospect. In the absence of a cooperating witness, police hope to identify Martinez’ assailant using DNA removed from Martinez’ boot.


Monday the police seized the traffic cones, threw them in the back of a cruiser and drove off. According to the New York Post, the cop made a woman at the scene cry and a club member shouted “It’s harassment! This is harassment!”
The cops returned Tuesday and inflicted more mayhem on the club. A couple of bikes parked on the street while wearing motorcycle covers, in December in the Northeast, were ticketed for “failing to display license plates.” The cops stole a park bench the club had installed outside their front door and ticketed the Angels for blocking the sidewalk with a couple of planters. They also dismantled and stole a bike ramp.
A police source told the New York Daily News, “It was done just to fuck with them. They’re not cooperating with the investigation. If they’re gonna give us a hard time, we’re gonna give them a hard time.”

“We want them to feel our presence and to let them know we are here,” the police source said. “They don’t own that block and they have no right to block parking spots for themselves. It’s a public street.”

Sure it is.
Wednesday, the city forced the Angels to move their bikes from in front of their clubhouse so that a film crew for the television show Madame Secretary would have a place to park. “In order to facilitate filming, we will need to hold parking for our production vehicles,” the film crew explained in a written statement. The film crew lined the block with about 30 traffic cones.