2 charged in attack on officer at Lynn bar
Page 2 of 2 -- Duda's attorney, Michael Cerulli, said his client was not at the bar at the time. He called the incident ''the most overblown case brought by law enforcement that I've seen in my 20-year career."
Neither Coleman nor members of the Salem Hell's Angels chapter could be reached for comment.
Lynn Deputy Police Chief Ken Santoro said his department is reviewing its safety procedures and would not rule out the possibility that the men targeted Coleman because he was a police officer.
''In any type of incident we have to look at whether our officers are being targeted because they are police officers," Santoro said. ''It's of concern to the administration, and to the members of the department when something like this happens."
Carrow said 12 to 15 men have belonged to the Salem Hell's Angels chapter over the last several years. The men meet weekly at their Lynn ''clubhouse" at 19 Fayette St., which the organization purchased in 1998 for $135,000.
The men previously met regularly on Shaws Court, but that was closed down by the US Drug Enforcement Agency in 1996, when investigators seized a half-pound of cocaine, and arrested 15 men.
Among those arrested was Gregory Domey, president of the Salem chapter, and the reported head of the East Coast branch of the Hell's Angels. In 1997 Domey received a 20-year sentence, after pleading guilty to running a criminal enterprise that sold cocaine and methamphetamine. At that time, the US Department of Justice called the Salem chapter ''one of the organization's most influential and most violent."
But Steve O'Connell, spokesman for Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, said members of the Salem chapter had been involved in only ''a handful of incidents in the past four or five years."
Carrow believes the Angels began a local recruitment drive in 2002, shortly after a Laughlin, Nev., shootout between members of their organization and the Mongols motorcycle gang. That year, two Angels chapters were added in Massachusetts, in Worcester and Boston. The Boston chapter maintains a clubhouse in Chelsea. Carrow said four members of the Salem chapter left to start the Boston organization.
According to Carrow, the Salem chapter opened in 1969, and is the second oldest Hell's Angels branch in the state. Lowell's is the oldest, and began in 1967; Berkshire County's started in 1982, and Cape Cod's was added in 1996.
Carrow said that in the last year there have been a few alleged incidents involving Hell's Angels at Lynn bars, in which patrons said they were attacked but declined to press charges.
''People are reluctant to come forward because they're afraid and they're intimidated," said Carrow, who declined to comment on whether the Lynn police were investigating the Hell's Angels.
''Our involvement is strictly because they're here," Carrow said. ''The clubhouse is here, they live in the city; we're not just going to turn a blind eye and let them do whatever they want to do. Like anybody, if you are involved in criminal activity, we're going to try and discover it and put an end to it."
Steven Rosenberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.