Local police beef up force for July Hells Angels visit
Written by Mark Reaman   
Wednesday, 23 June 2010
Extra cops coming to help police Hells Angels

An abundance of police will be in Gunnison and Crested Butte the last week of July but even more motorcyclists will be roaming the highways and streets in town.

 

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Local law enforcement is preparing for the arrival of hundreds of Hells Angels to the valley at the end of July. Crested Butte chief marshal Tom Martin gave the Town Council an overview of the situation Monday evening and he told them to expect about 200 police officers, 500 motorcyclists in the county and up to about $8,000 in expenses to the town during the motorcycle club’s U.S.A. Run.
The Hells Angels are holding the rally between July 27 and August 1. Gunnison will be the main gathering place, with both the Days Inn and the Affordable Inn (the former Tomichi Village) booked up by the Angels. At a similar rally in 2002, some of the motorcyclists found their way up to Crested Butte.
“The last time they came here they discovered Crested Butte at the end of the week and we had probably 40 to 50 of them in town on Saturday,” Martin said. “But we also had chip-and-seal road work going on Highway 135 and that deterred a lot of them from coming up here. This year we are expecting between 350 and 500 members of the Hell’s Angels, along with their entourage. There aren’t rooms booked up here from them but we expect we will see them.”
Martin said that while there were few problems with the motorcyclists in 2002, he felt that was due in large part to the fact there was a large law enforcement presence. “In 2009 the run was held in Minnesota and there was a large police presence. There weren’t many problems. In 2008, it was held in Arkansas and the police took a laid-back approach resulting in more major incidents. We want to be prepared from the start.
“We had heard that when they came here in 2002 that they were bored,” Martin continued. “They told us it was too cold, there weren’t any strip clubs or casinos and there wasn’t much for them to do. We were surprised to hear they were coming back. But apparently they are.”
Martin said all local law enforcement officers would be on duty during the rally.