The infamous Hells Angels motorcycle gang is no longer just that cuddly group of unorganized bike enthusiasts from our parents' generation. Now, according to a jury and Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, they are officially a "street gang."
Thanks for clearing that up.
The gang's new label comes as the result of the conviction of one of its members in a Maricopa County Superior Court last week, where jurors were specifically asked if they deemed the Hells Angels a "street gang."
Well, they did and convicted 32-year-old Nathaniel Sample (pictured below) of aggravated assault and of acting for the benefit of a criminal street gang.
The conviction stems from a 2008 incident at the Billet Bar in Scottsdale, when Sample and another man used a beer bottle to beat a man in the head as he lay helpless on the ground.
The beating started after the victim accidentally bumped into Sample and only ended when a
woman jumped on the victim to prevent the men from beating him further.
Nervous attempts to contact members of the Hells Angels were not successful.
Labeling the group a street gang provides law enforcement with precedent that allows it to more aggressively pursue and prosecute members of the Hells Angels.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
"This verdict sends a message to all street gangs that their acts of violence and terror will
not be tolerated," Andrew Thomas says in a statement.
Incidentally, how many Andy Thomas press releases contain the words "sends a message"? Andy would like us to believe he's out there fighting real crime, instead of persecuting mostly peaceful illegal aliens (he and mentor Sheriff Joe Arpaio's real mission).
Also, pardon us, but we doubt seriously the Hells Angels will get any such message. Dude, they're the Hells Angels.
With the new designation, the Angels may well be the only street gang with their own their own Web site?