Christmas will be a little merrier for cops in Northern Minnesota this year. And, it is all thanks to the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club!
The most famous red and white motorcycle club in the history of the universe held its national run near Duluth way back in July but it has taken until now to calculate the actual stimulus effect the event had on the thickness of local police wallets.
But wait! That is merely the end of the story.
The Angels national run has now become an annual story for journalists – like the annual maple syrup story for hacks in New England or the balloon festival in Albuquerque or the running of the grunion in El Lay. Like all annual stories, reporters love to write about the running of the Angels because it practically writes itself. And, it conforms to the ancient journalistic formula of the “Advance,” the “Story” and the “Follo.” So a lazy reporter can keep writing about the same thing over and over for months before his editor actually catches on.
In case you do not live in Minnesota or were not at the run here is what you missed.
The Hells Angels are coming! The Hells Angels are coming!
Investigative journalist and biker expert Julian Sher told Minnesota Public Radio that Minnesota would probably survive because “bikers tend to behave when on public parade.”
But former Hells Angels prospect Jay Dobyns warned the same radio journalists that “Every year that these guys get together on their USA run, there’s some act of violence that takes place. It’s their culture. It’s their nature. It’s like, they can’t change their DNA.”
Forewarned, police vow not to let Dobyns’ prophecy come true. Plans are quickly conceptualized and implemented to surveil a “200-mile stretch” of northern Minnesota. An “Angels No Go Zone” is proposed between Minnesota and neighboring Wisconsin which is rumored to harbor members of the American Outlaws Association. Officials hold public meetings to warn local citizens to be cautiously aware and walk in pairs. Included in the specific advice given to citizens is: “Do not attack Hells Angels Bikes” and “Do not get drunk and challenge groups of Hells Angels to fight.”
We dodged a bullet! We dodged a bullet!
Hells Angels are either so intimidated by a massive police presence or are such accomplished criminals that their crimes are undetectable. Ordinary citizens are less shrewd.
A reported five hundred Hells Angels infiltrate Carlton County, Minnesota. Police respond by initiating approximately 300 traffic stops. About 90 “traffic-related citations are issued.” Three are of the tickets are given to Hells Angels. Four arrests are made for Drunk Driving, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and giving a false name to a police officer. None of the accused is a member or prospective member of the Hells Angels.
One motorcyclist named Jeffrey Paul Amato who may or may not be a Hells Angel is cited for drunk driving, released, then rearrested when the motorcycle he was riding appears on a New Jersey hot list of stolen vehicles.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune describes the run as “mundane.”
“What I imagined were constant bikes going back and forth,” a bar owner named Don Rostollan told the Star-Tribune. “I’m kind of surprised you don’t see more.”
What price safety and security? The final police overtime cost of keeping Minnesota safe from its nearly invisible enemies is $281,500. About $40,000 of that amount is still unaccounted for. Here is how the rest breaks down.
Fourteen Minnesota Park Rangers earned an extra $36,000, or about $2,600 per ranger for the week. An unknown number of Fond du Lac Tribal Policeman got an extra $15,000 in overtime. And, the patrolmen, or patrolman, in Moose Lake earned an extra $3,500. Extra vigilance against the biker menace earned Cloquet cops an extra $21,000 to $25,000. (Cloquet’s calculator is broken.) Proctor, Hermantown and Thomson Township cops won, or earned, an extra $4,058. (Thomson Township has a calculator that works.)
Minnesota State Patrolmen racked up $11,122 in overtime. St. Louis County Sheriffs earned an extra $36,124.09. Carlton County Sheriffs picked up a $38,000 windfall.
Twenty-two Duluth police officers can thank the Angels for an extra $75,000 in overtime or about $3,400 per cop.
“I think it’s important for us to note that these officers were engaged in police work the entire time,” Deputy Chief Mike Tusken of the Duluth Police told Wendy Johnson of the Cloquet Pine Journal. “There was a tremendous police presence during that weekend and as a result we saw reduced crime.”