formed in the Chicago area in 1935, now with chapters and thousands of members around the world.
But in an exclusive interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, a former Outlaws leader says the group isn’t nearly as fearsome or dominant as it used to be in Illinois.
“The times have changed,” says Peter “Big Pete” James, 62, who lives in the west suburbs. “Somehow, there’s no testosterone out there.”
James hung up his Outlaws vest — black leather with a skull and crossed pistons patch — last year amid an internal dispute with other local leaders and his own ongoing fight with cancer.
Contrary to the biker rumor mill, James isn’t returning to the fray, he told the Sun-Times. His wide-ranging interview was unusual because so-called “1-percenter” bikers generally are loath to talk publicly about their business.
Watching from the sidelines, James says that maybe the biggest indication his old club is slipping involves the rise of the rival Hells Angels motorcycle club, which he believes is poised to overtake the Outlaws as the big-dog biker group in the Chicago area — an unthinkable development not long ago.
He predicts — but insists he isn’t advocating — renewed conflict between the two groups resulting from the shifting dynamic.
An attorney for the Outlaws responds only, “There wouldn’t be any comment at this time.” The Hells Angels didn’t respond to inquiries.
Back in the 1990s, the Outlaws and Hells Angels — both which have weathered intense federal prosecutions and allegations they’re nothing more than gangs on wheels involved in drug dealing and mayhem — were locked in “war” in Chicago, as the Hells Angels made a foray into the region, the Outlaws’ long-established turf.
After a series of bombings, shootings and stabbings, the rival clubs formed a fragile truce. The Hells Angels, formed in 1948 in California, gave up their attempt to put a clubhouse within the Chicago city limits and, instead, planted a flag in Harvey, remaining there today.
Since then, the Outlaws have maintained a stronghold in Chicago, with a South Side clubhouse at 25th and Rockwell and a North Side clubhouse on Division Street. It also has several other chapters in northern Illinois.
As regional vice president, James had domain over all of them and also was president of the North Siders. In all, he says there were maybe 100 hard-core members in northern Illinois.
But James says smart moves by the Hells Angels — plus waves of prosecutions, poor leadership by some current Outlaws and changing times and attitudes — have changed things.
For one, James says local Outlaws are less willing to take orders from the top.
“It used to be the boss’ word was law,” he says. “He says, ‘Ride off the cliff,’ and guys would ride off a cliff. The quality of the members has gone down.”
Fear of prison has also had an impact on some local club leaders, according to James, who’s critical of his old group for not being “entrepreneurial.”
Unlike the Outlaws, Hells Angels members are Internet-savvy, with the group’s local Facebook page accumulating more than 29,000 “likes” and the club selling T-shirts and other merchandise on its website.
The Hells Angels also have made money by holding parties at its Harvey clubhouse and at bars in the Chicago area, according to James, who says the club welcomes “civilians” and members of smaller biker clubs to their parties.
“The Outlaws are losing out on the party money,” he says, along with the chance to market themselves and gain supporters.
Chicago-area law enforcement officials periodically have cracked down on both clubs. They say they’ve been preoccupied with other groups in recent years — especially the African-American gang factions behind Chicago’s staggering 50 percent rise in murders this year.
It was more than a decade ago when federal authorities charged Melvin Chancey, the former president of the Chicago-area Hells Angels, with racketeering and drug trafficking.
The last major Chicago law-enforcement crackdown of the Outlaws was more than five years ago. Chicago Outlaws member Mark Polchan was convicted of orchestrating a 2003 bombing outside C & S Coin Operated Amusements, a video-poker business in Berwyn that reputed mob boss Michael “The Large Guy” Sarno wanted to destroy to protect his own gambling interests. The pipe bomb blew out windows and damaged the building.
Polchan, who also was accused of fencing stolen jewelry for the mob at his Cicero pawnshop, was sentenced in 2011 to 60 years in federal prison.
James describes Polchan as his one-time “confidant” and says, “I love him.”
He says he has continued to receive occasional visits from federal agents looking for information on the biker world that he says he’s unwilling to give. “I try to be polite, to a point,” he says.
He figures his former club isn’t engaged in criminal activity at the same level as in the old days. Drug dealing, he says, worries graying members who don’t want to face a prison stretch lasting decades.
Even if things seem more low-key, though, “It doesn’t mean there’s not violence,” James says. “It’s just not as flagrant.”
CONTINUE TO PAGE 2
The footage, captured in the jungle in Thailand, seems to show a woman dressed in a white robe appearing from within the vines as the bikers make their way along a muddy path.
Jade Mungnon, 45, was with several pals riding off road along a dirt track while he recorded the footage on his helmet camera on February 27.
The oblivious group of cross-country riders reached the end of the pathway and were watching the footage back when they noticed the white figure floating briefly next to a tree.
Biker walks into a bar and sits down on a bar stool near the end of the bar.
He takes a look at the menu and it reads as follows:
Hamburger – 2.99
Cheeseburger – 3.99Chicken Sandwich – 4.99
Hand Jobs – 19.99
The crusty old biker waves the bartender down, and up walks this tall, busty, beautiful redhead in her mid-twenties. She smiles at the biker coyly, and he asks in a quiet voice “Are you the one who gives the hand jobs?”
The bartender blushes slightly and says “Yes, I am” with a gentle little smile.
The biker grins and says “Well wash your hands, because I want a cheeseburger.”
American Legion officers say that they were asked to remove their affiliate jackets by management at a Dave & Busters restaurant in Michigan.
Their vests and leather jackets are adorned with patches of the American flag, the Prisoner of War flag and a bald eagle.
Restaurant representatives claim that the jackets show evidence of gang affiliation and could be misinterpreted by other restaurant patrons, potentially disrupting the family-friendly atmosphere of the chain.
Victor Murdock and Adrienne Brown of the American Legion Riders Post 179 state that they complied with the request by either removing their jackets or turning them inside out. The veterans didn’t agree with the policy, but removed their attire out of respect for the rules of the establishment.
“I get it,” Murdock said. “Everyone has to have a policy to keep the unwanted element out. But an American flag and a bald eagle does not represent a gang element.”
Dave & Busters spokesperson, April Spearman, defended the company’s policy.
“Though we understand that the American Legion promotes a positive mission, for consistency reasons” she said “we cannot allow motorcycle jackets displaying patches or rockers,” Spearman said.
The company is unwilling to make an exception to its policy for veterans and members of the American Legion but claim that they value the support of military members. Spearman offered an official apology on behalf of the company and issued a statement.
“We are extremely grateful to all of our active military members and veterans and are honored to have them as valued guests in any of our locations,” the statement read. “Our policies are in no way meant to be disrespectful and we apologize for any frustration this may have caused.”
JB weld works but for only so long!
So the myth is true you can fix anything with JB Weld… This guy proves that you can even fix a piston with.
It won’t last long he said he could only run it for 5 minutes until it gets too hot and put a hole in the middle of the piston.
So JB weld would make a good fix for a few minutes but any longer and you won’t be making much power.
A furious road rage altercation descended into a shocking street brawl, as a biker was filmed slamming a car door on the leg of a taxi driver.
This clip, uploaded to Youtube, shows two motorists embroiled in a fight near the site of the Royal Hospital in Liverpool.
The motorcycle rider is seen approaching the driver’s side of the Hackney cab, where he appears to take a photo of the driver using his mobile phone.
A stunned biker recorded the moment a road rage driver almost mowed down an an entire motorcycle gang on a busy road.
The video shows a driver narrowly missing a group of bikers as they took part in an annual run through East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, on April 3.
Nearly all of the leather-clad crew were forced to scatter when a man behind the wheel of a black Peugeot drove drove through their group with what appeared to be not the slightest bit of concern.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/
On June 15, 2015, Matthew Hovland-Knase was allegedly driving his motorcycle at excessive speeds down a two-way street.
After being clocked at speeds over 110 miles per hour, Sergeant Lonnie Soppeland gave chase and pulled him over.
Hovland-Knase did not attempt to run, was unarmed, non-violent, and posed no threat to Soppeland at all when the officer jumped out of his cruiser with his gun drawn. As Soppeland exited the cruiser, he yelled, “Get your hands where I….” BOOM — and before he could finish the sentence, he’d shot the unarmed motorcyclist.
“I’m bleeding,” screams Hovland-Knase after this overzealous cop squeezed off a round into the unsuspecting motorist.
Those who’ve been trained to use firearms know that you should keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you are ready to fire. If anyone should know this, it’s a police officer. But at that moment, on that night, officer Soppeland forget one of the most important rules in handling a firearm.
Immediately after he nearly killed a man, officer Soppeland said, “I’m not going to say anything right now, but was not intentional. I can tell you that.”
Intentional or not, this man fired a deadly projectile at an unarmed individual who meant him no harm.
After Soppeland had been granted a cool down period of three days, he was finally interviewed by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office. During the interview, Soppeland told a detective, “As I was giving commands, I drew my firearm with my right hand, I planned to steady it with my left hand. When my hands made contact, the firearm discharged once unintentionally.
It was not my conscious choice…I could feel the effect of the adrenaline.”
Notice how he blamed the firearm. According to Soppeland, he did not discharge the firearm, ‘the firearm discharged.’
In a loaded question, which was obviously used to steer the investigation in favor of the officer, the detective then asked Soppeland whether firearm training 20 days before the shooting, when Soppeland fired 50 to 100 rounds, was a factor. Soppeland replied, “Yes, I feel the muscle memory from that recent training of squeezing the trigger contributed to the unintentional discharge during a high-stress situation.”
Luckily it wasn’t a church van full of innocent children that Soppeland pulled over that fateful night — as his ‘muscle memory’ could have killed them.
As soon as the investigation had begun, it was then over — Soppeland was taken off of paid vacation and immediately placed back on regular duty.
Imagine for a moment that Soppeland was not granted a badge and a uniform from the town of Eden Prairie, and he attempted to use the same excuse for discharging a firearm at an unarmed, nonviolent individual. Do you feel that he would have been granted the same leniency?
What if Soppeland was the owner of a private shooting range and he accidentally shot one of his customers? Would that shooting range be opened the next day? Would Soppeland ever be able to operate a shooting range again? The short answer is, no. The range would likely be closed down, and Soppeland would be facing charges of negligence, at a minimum.
However, because Soppeland is a police officer, he not only faces no consequences but he was put back out on the street to do it again.
What this case illustrates is that police in America are subject to a different set of rules than the rest of us. Their ‘qualified immunity’ sets them above the same laws that apply to everyone else, and they are subsequently allowed to cause harm to others without the fear of repercussions.
VIDEO IS ON THE SECOND PAGE!!!
Biker L.S. visited his local Walmart for the low prices and the convenient shopping.
Instead, what he got was a powerful lesson in double standards.
In a post on Facebook, biker described how the staff at a Walmart in Okemos, Michigan, humiliated an elderly veteran but allowed a Muslim employee to get away with something entirely similar.
His post has been shared over 77,000 times, with many calling for a boycott of the retailer.
“So for the past however long I can remember there has been a older gentleman by the name of Val who is a greeter at Walmart,” biker began his post.
“This man is a Veteran and very proud to be. You don’t need to know him or even speak to him, although I thank him for his service every time I see him, because he illustrates his pride through the highly decorated Veteran baseball cap he wears … or … used to wear.”
That came to an end, however, thanks to the people at Walmart.
“One day I as I walked in I noticed a bright blue Walmart hat on his head with all the military pins that once adorned his wore out faded military cap and I asked him about it. We both had tears in our eyes as I wished him a blessed day and shook his hand before I left.
His reply was simple and full of hurt, ‘corporate will not allow me to wear that hat anymore while on the clock, because it goes against the dress code,’” biker wrote.