Southern Nevada COC Sues Vegas Metro

June 26, 2012

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This story was published on June 26 and corrected on June 28.  The uncorrected story identified Robert Barreto, Jr. as a party to the suit. He is not and The Aging Rebel apologizes for the error.

The Southern Nevada Confederation of Clubs filed a civil rights lawsuit yesterday in federal court against the notorious Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the North Las Vegas Police Department and numerous sworn peace officers whose names are both known and unknown.

Dozens of individual members of the Mongols, Vagos, Stray Cats and Bandidos Motorcycle Clubs are parties to the suit which alleges that “Plaintiffs were willfully, maliciously, and intentionally prevented from associating and/or assembling without justification or compelling state interest as a result of their status as a motorcycle club or motorcycle club member.” The suit alleges that the members of the clubs were both denied their constitutional rights and defamed.

The plaintiffs seek “damages in a sum in excess of $75,000; punitive and exemplary damages in a sum in excess of $75,000; a reasonable sum as attorneys’ fees, costs of suit and interest; and such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.” The plaintiffs are represented by an attorney named Stephen P. Stubbs and it briefly summarizes several illegal incidents in which clubs or club members were harassed or otherwise inconvenienced.

Mongols Incidents

The lawsuit alleges two incidents against the Mongols Motorcycle Club.

In the first incident the Mongols MC “planned to hold a custom car and bike reunion for its Las Vegas chapter.” The club reserved 160 rooms for three nights at the Alexis Park Resort Las Vegas and paid a $50,000 deposit. Two weeks later the resort cancelled the reservation “because Officers of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department informed the resort that if the Event proceeded as planned, LVMPD would be blockading the property and that all individuals and vehicles entering or leaving the property would be searched.”

In a second incident the club planned to hold an unspecified event at the Mountain Springs Bar in Las Vegas last fall. The bar backed out of its deal with the Mongols after a Vegas Metro officer named William Schoen threatened the revocation of the bar’s liquor license “for hosting the Mongols MC if the event went forward, and asserting that the club and its members were involved in trafficking and narcotics use, firearms trafficking, and felonious assaults and batteries.” After cancelling the event the owner “continued to receive threats from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in connection with hosting the Mongols MC and its members.”

Vagos Incident

The Vagos Motorcycle Club had a scheduled event at a place called Scoundrels Pub in Las Vegas that was cancelled following police threats.

“The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department learned of the event, following which Officer Robert Willis of the Special Investigations Section sent a letter dated June 16, 2011, to the Scoundrels Pub threatening its liquor license for hosting the Vagos MC if the event went forward, and asserting that the club and its members were involved in trafficking and narcotics use, firearms trafficking, and felonious assaults and batteries. The Scoundrels Pub thereafter cancelled the June 18, 2011 event, and continued to receive threats from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in connection with hosting the Vagos MC and its members.”

Stray Cats Incident

Last January members of the Stray Cats Motorcycle Club met “to hear a lecture and discuss Constitutional rights, United States history, and recent alleged harassment of different motorcycle clubs by law enforcement.” The discussion was led by the plaintiff’s attorney in this suit, Stephen Stubbs.

“Approximately 40 minutes after Attorney Stubbs left, Defendant the North Las Vegas Police Department arrived on the scene for the express purpose of ‘clearing’ the members from the premises. Plaintiff Richard Tambe, a member of the Stray Cats MC, noticed approximately a dozen police officers and multiple police cars arrive on the scene. Plaintiff Tambe was subsequently patted down extensively and surrounded by at least four police officers. ”

When Tambe asked what the raid was about and asked to have an attorney present he “was shown a Taser” and questioning continued. “In the meantime, Defendant the North Las Vegas Police Department forced the other attendees of the lecture to leave the scene, threatening to ticket and tow their motorcycles if they failed to do so. When Attorney Stubbs returned to the scene, several officers prevented him from speaking with Plaintiff Tambe, and threatened to arrest him if he failed to obey their commands and stand a long distance away from Mr. Tambe. Attorney Stubbs informed the officers that Mr. Tambe has a Constitutional right to counsel, following which a female officer told Attorney Stubbs, ‘there is no right to counsel on the streets of North Las Vegas, only in a court room.’ After the gathering was broken up, Plaintiff Tambe was given two citations and told, ‘You are not having your food drive on Saturday.’”

Joseph Pitka

Last February a paramedic named Joseph Pitka “was arrested by officers of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department during a traffic stop following a meeting of the COC.” After the arrest, Vegas Metro officers went to Pitka’s longtime employer, MedicWest Ambulance, and told Pitka’s supervisor that the medic “had been observed associating with what they termed a ‘criminal’ motorcycle club known as the Bandidos, which the FBI and other law enforcement organizations link to stabbings, shootings, and other criminal activity.”

The cops “went on to infer that the Bandidos were interested in Plaintiff Pitka because of his access to controlled substances. Plaintiff Pitka was ultimately terminated by MedicWest Ambulance several months later, in or about November 2011, after 12 years of service. Plaintiff’s efforts to obtain subsequent employment have been without success because Defendant the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has contacted potential employers to inform them that Plaintiff Pitka is allegedly under investigation for his association or membership in an alleged criminal organization.”


Last September 11, a Bandido named Stuart Cantara attended a “memorial motorcycle club event in Las Vegas, Nevada.” He was found there by two Vegas Metro cops who “claimed they ran Plaintiff Cantara’s motorcycle license plate and found that there was a warrant for his arrest. In fact, Plaintiff Cantara traveled to the event by car and had had the warrant quashed well before the September 11 event. Plaintiff Cantara was ultimately arrested by Officer Jackson and Detective Woosnam and booked on the allegedly outstanding arrest warrant. Defendants Officer Jackson, Detective Woosnam and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department therefore violated Plaintiff Cantara’s First Amendment right to liberty by enforcing a warrant they knew to be false, invalid or that did not exist.”

The law suit has been assigned to Judge Kent J. Dawson and Magistrate Judge Cam Ferenbach. The complaint does not demand a jury trial. The plaintiffs have not yet responded to the suit and will have three weeks to do so. They will respond because if they do not they will lose the suit by default.


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26 Responses to “Southern Nevada COC Sues Vegas Metro”

  1. Shyster Says:

    That is great news. It’s my understanding that Las Vegas Metro makes LAPD Rampart look like amateur hour. Maybe this Federal Lawsuit will have a chilling effect on those “cops” who extort bar and restaurant owners from hosting club runs.


  2. Tooj Says:

    I certainly appreciate their efforts in shaking down active military on R&R. That sort of guy can be dangerous, what with spending all his time with his wife and such before shipping out again.

    It will be interesting to see where this goes, rebel. Everything else I might add could be cliche “FTP”, etc.

  3. Moose Says:

    I’m glad that someone is finally putting those asshole cops in their place. There is no damn reason to harass anyone; you aren’t above the fuckin law if you got a badge, so stop trying to act like superman.

  4. YYZ Skinhead Says:

    That video makes me fucking sick. It demonstrates how pigs say “thank you for serving our Country”.

    What became of the right of men to peaceably assemble?

    YYZ Skinhead

  5. swampy Says:

    Rebel, can the bar owners get in on this suit? Maybe something like paid restitution for potential loss of profit/revenue? Or will they be afraid of further harassment by LVMPD?

  6. 11c_infantry Says:

    Sounds to me like the LVPD should be tried under RICO. After all, they were using extortion tactics on bar and hotel owners while wearing clothing that identifies them as members of an organization.

  7. Rashomon Says:

    I really hope this sends a message – if it was a group of Muslims/Native Americans/Gays/Lesbians/insert almost anybody other than middle aged white guys here/ being treated the way clubs are being treated, it would be straight to the supreme court.

    It’s good to see the COC and the clubs bringing attention to this issue.

  8. scraphound Says:

    Give them Hell Stu.

  9. Rebel Says:

    Dear swampy,

    This is a civil rights lawsuit and I am weak on civil rights law. As the suit goes on I will try to get better at that branch of the law. The short answer is that it sounds like the bar owners and resort have grounds for a suit against the same defendants but I think it would probably be a second suit, not this one.

    As everyone who has ever passed through Vegas on a Harley knows, Vegas Metro is kind of a posse of assholes. So I think it is possible that additional plaintiffs might join this suit.


  10. 10guage Says:

    Those are just the only phone calls that can be proved. Such a scumbag thing to do.

    I hope these slime balls get what’s coming. The Gestapo police state tactics have gone on way too long unchecked. Good luck to all of the clubs mentioned, and thank you for covering this case Rebel.


  11. Fuzz Says:

    Generally I have no use for lawyers, but when a man like Steven P. Stubbs is willing to take on a lawsuit like this I think there may be some hope for the profession. You know Stubbs will catch flack from LVPD and the legal community. Hope somebody will watch his back.

  12. Phuquehed Says:

    Back when I lived in LV, the pigs there were just as shitty. Back then, I had hair down to the top of the crack of my ass, and the pigs were *always* trying to fuck with me. I even missed becoming a part of a pig harrassment of a head shop by about 10 minutes…they beat the shit out of the owner who was a skinny wimpy hippy-type and couldn’t hurt a fly of you gave him an atom bomb and a fresh pile of dog shit.
    Fuckers came by a bar a friend and I were hanging outside at to get some fresh air for a few minutes. Instead of simply asking us what we were doing, the one cop *tells* me I need to leave. I told him I was gonna stand there and get some more air and go back in and have another beer. He grabbed me before I knew what was happening and handcuffed my hands behind my back and dragged me around a corner and started choking me telling me I *will* listen to him when he gives me an order.
    North LV pigs are even worse, three of them beat the fuck out of a buddy of mine with their billy clubs when he was walking home from a party a few blocks from his house. They asked him for his ID and they asked him what his name was…he pulled a Cheech & Chong and said ‘Isn’t it on the license?’. They apparently had no sense of humor. Poor guy couldn’t walk for a week and his face and lips and jaw was so swelled up he had to drink his food through a straw for a few days. Unfortunately there weren’t any witnesses.

    Vegas pigs are shit-stain pussies on power trips. They’re the little pussies that told on everyone in school just to suckup to a teacher. They’re the same ones who were probably sucking-up all right, under the bleachers with each other.

  13. Junior Says:

    The gestapo police state tactics have gone on long enough, too long. I think most understand why. For those that dont know why: “We the people” allow it. We dont revolt. We dont show up in great number bearing arms when injustice does occur. We dont study the Constitution. We dont study the law of the land in which we roam. We dont learn how to stand the rule of Law within the confines of the administrative (statutory) state. We dont learn our way around the court system. We dont learn how to write motions. We dont learn how file paper against someone in authority who oversteps their boundaries. We dont learn what makes a judge a judge. We dont learn or study the concept of citizenship and the differences between a citizen and a “man” (“citizen” is slave speak for “govt subject”). We dont learn the difference between the “United States”(DC its territories & possesions) and the several states. We dont learn anything because we have allowed govt to wrap a warm comfortable blanket around us, stroke our head and whisper sweet nothing into our ears, and we believe everything they whisper. We allow govt to steal our rights and sell them back to us in the form of a priviledge.

    Wake the fuck up white people (ok,ok browns, blacks & yellows, u need to wake up too). Turn the goddamn tv off, and take up your arms and reclaim your country. If you wont do that then quit yer fucking whining. -Junior

  14. Snow Says:

    @ Junior
    I agree completely with your statement, rarely happens so I’m kinda shocked, lol. Just saw that the mandatory health care law is pretty much going to stay, Bastards….. FTF…

  15. BadMagic Says:

    A police state finds that it cannot command the grain to grow.
    John F. Kennedy

  16. Goldsboro Williams Says:

    I just want to know what happened to the concept of “live and let live.” Why do so many people feel the need to control how others spend their short life on this earth?

    I may not agree with how someone lives their life, but it is their life! I just don’t get the power trip thing. Nor do I understand why some insist that everyone be a carbon-copy of their neighbor, with all the same social and political leanings.

    What a boring and oppressing world it would be if these type of people win in the long run.

    Good luck with the law suit.

  17. HOSER Says:

    I couldn’t agree more Junior…I know some of the people involved in this and even signed a letter attesting to the fact that I too have had My chops busted by LVMPD and that I stand behind them 100 percent…I just hope that this helps to put a stop to some of the police misconduct that has been going on in Vegas for far too long…FTP

  18. Dan the Man Says:

    some put on a uniform and pick up a gun and shoot at people shooting back.

    some put on a uniform and pick up a gun where there is no war and shoot at whomever doesn’t shoot back.

    I keep hearing about these “western cops”, and just about how ignorant, self serving, money grubbing they are.(even worse than the east). The video is even better than the stories. pictures tell 1000 words, 10 of video minuets can give you war and peace.

    “We dont show up in great number bearing arms when injustice does occur”, because then 20 local cops become the vast resources of the federal government, and the FBI come after you. Not in force, but they’ll get some scumbag who wants to beat a felony something or another, and have them infiltrate your group, get involved with something that will put you away for a long time.

    Does anyone else follow the Anonymous/lulsec story too? its virtually the same thing as we have here!

  19. Pig Says:

    Hey Junior – Drive on hard charger! You hit the fucking nail on the head! I would challenge anyone to walk out on the street or ask your friends and family and see if you can find anyone who can name even three of the five rights included in the first amendment! People wave their flag without a clue as to what it stands for or the responsibility attached to it. I just hope we’re not past the point of being able to correct this shit through education of the people. They say the concept of liberty rests on four boxes: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box. After today’s ruling by the Supreme Court on “Obamacare”, I think we are getting closer and closer to needing to water the tree of liberty. I hope the COC kicks LVPD’s ass!

  20. ItsAshame Says:

    It really is a shame that it’s been allowed to go so far. I am a friend to a “biker” – he is endlessly harrassed, almost on an every day basis. Metro is probably one of the dirtiest forces that I’ve ever had knowledge of (and surrounding depts – i.e. henderson, nlv) Here’s what I want to know….with all the illegals in LV, gang-bangers, etc. wouldn’t you think they’d spend some time there? I think they’re scared of getting shot….most of those gang-bangers will take them out without a second thought – and the bikers that they love to harrass just want to go home to their families, or spend time with their friends. And if 2 or more men, wearing the same patch, can get charged for the same crime…with the added benefit of the “gang-enhancement” charge – then why aren’t the henderson cops who beat that poor man who was having a diabetic fall-out, being charged with something like Mayhem, with the additional “gang-enhancement”……I would hope that all the bikers out there that get harrassed all the time would come together….there’s got to be some way to make it stop…..can’t you keep detailed journals of stops and events? and then press charges against the departments for continual abuse? I think the more we find ways to bring it out in the public the more they’ll be held responsible for their actions….I just hope you keep it up – good luck to all of you.

  21. Junior Says:

    Biker harassment would stop if bikers organized, and if 1,000 bikers showed up bearing unloaded arms (just to make a point) every time an injustice occured and camped out on the police stations steps until they were run off, and then leave peacefully. The organization could be something as simple as B.A.M. , B.A.M. is a card that I carry in my wallet that puts me in touch with other bikers that are in the B.A.M. network when my bike breaks down and I’m stranded in the middle of nowhere. The problem would be finding bikers with balls large enough to sign up & show up; so many modern bikers are RUBs and would never sign up. -Junior

  22. Blind Tom Says:

    No disrespect Junior, but unloaded arms make the wrong point in my book. I do agree with you about finding anyone with the nads to get the police off of everyone’s back. Prozak and Paxil took care of that problem for the police…

  23. possible fucktard Says:

    Happy Independence Day to all and Thanks to the vets for your service to our country. Have to wonder why people are calling for the head of the cranked up trucker in Pheonix for killing some people on bikes but celebrating the release of some guys from Chino Valley who sure seemed to be trying to kill some people on bikes. I don’t know the whole story but the part about gunfights at parties between neighbors in residential areas sounds pretty bad.

  24. (btb) back to basics Says:

    To all …. Happy 4th of July. Even with all the obstacles and injustice we are confronted with, I sure love this country. Ride safe.

  25. Pig Says:

    Any word on how this case is progressing?

  26. Random ryder Says:

    FTP gotta catch me 1st you [email protected] pigs.. Un real fuck metro

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