The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club’s annual USA Run will start tomorrow in Rockford, Illinois under a dark cloud.
Fourteen members of the host charter have been arrested within the last week in connection with the beating and alleged armed robbery of an unnamed victim. The arrests started last Friday at five o’clock in the morning and were effected by the Rockford Police Department, the Chicago Police Department, the Illinois State Police, the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department, the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The accused men have been identified as Richard Todd, Robert Bell, Curt Lambert, Aloysius J. Balice, Christopher L. Lawson, John R. Savalick, Dariusz Achramowicz, Tomasz Lech, Bradley K. Wilhelms, Dennis R. Juno, Earl Murray, Donald J. Hess, Neal Resendez, and Jose Vielma. All are accused of armed robbery, aggravated kidnapping of a child younger than 13, unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle, aggravated battery with a Taser, aggravated battery with a knife, aggravated battery with an ax handle and mob action. According to police, their bonds total $1 million.
The charges stem from a June 27th incident that sounds like a patching out in bad standings. A Rockford man was hit with an ax handle, punched, struck with brass knuckles and a hammer, Tasered and stabbed. Police allege the men, acting in concert, stole the victim’s wallet, keys and truck and an 11-year-old girl was detained by the men while the victim was assaulted. Police have not specified a motive. The investigation started after the victim went to a hospital for treatment.
Simultaneous to the arrests, Police raided the Rockford charter’s clubhouse at 1109 Rock St. in Rockford, searched it and then condemned the building. In a press release issued later that day, police said the beating occurred at the clubhouse.
Rockford City Attorney Jennifer Cacciapaglia told the Rockford Register Star that police discovered the clubhouse chimney and plumbing were falling apart, wiring was exposed, and the building lacked smoke detectors and a fire escape. “It’s going to be a pretty extensive list,” Cacciapaglia said. “There’s a portion of the roof that is in significant disrepair. I don’t know how soon they’ll be able to address each item.”
The packs will start rolling into Rockford today. The party will be in Lyran Park, in the southwest corner of the city near the Rockford airport. As is always the case, extra police will be on hand to give the Angels a big, old hello.