saw the story on tv
2 Are Killed as Rival Motorcycle Gangs Clash at Drag Race
Published: September 26, 1994
LANCASTER, N.Y., Sept. 25 — Two people were killed and at least eight others were injured today as heavily armed rival motorcycle clubs clashed before a drag race outside Buffalo.
Lancaster's police chief, Thomas Fowler, said the fight appeared to have been a turf war between a group called The Outlaws and Hell's Angels. He said the police had little information about the incident and were trying to coax information out of reluctant bikers.
Fifteen people were arrested on weapons and drug charges, said Major Pedro Perez of the state police. "None of the arrests at this time have been for the shootings specifically," he said.
A man working at the Lancaster Speedway said about 200 people were there when he heard shots fired about 9:25 A.M.
"I thought it was a bike backfiring, but people were scrambling around," said Joe Perry, who was scraping burned rubber from the starting area when the melee began. "I saw one guy getting carried off by his friends."
Chief Fowler said many of the injured were taken to hospitals by friends, making it difficult to determine how many were wounded.
A spokesman for the Erie County Medical Center said all the injuries treated there, including one fatality, were from stab wounds.
The only access to the Lancaster Speedway was blocked by a squad car after the clash, and the police were allowing the bikers to leave only after they had been interviewed and frisked, an officer monitoring the entrance said. The police also videotaped people as they left, he said. Officers were also walking along the sides of the roads and looking in fields for evidence.
Chief Fowler said bikers were picked up off the Gov. Thomas E. Dewey Thruway in both directions, as far as Rochester, 60 miles away. Some had weapons, flak jackets and bulletproof vests, he said.
The police shut the track down before the first race could take place.
Motorcycles were still rolling in late in the afternoon, only to be turned away. One pair of riders said they had driven for four hours; they sat with their bikes near the entrance in a parking lot sprinkled with empty beer and soda cans.
Eight of those arrested were arraigned by Lancaster Town Justice Timothy Dwan tonight. One was arrested in the dragnet and charged with a motorcycle violation, and seven others, including two men wearing colors of the Massachusetts-based Outlaws, were arraigned on weapons charges including possession of 10-inch knives, semi-automatic guns and mace; they were held in lieu of bail ranging from $2,500 to $25,000.
The Hells Angels were founded in the steel town of Fontana, Calif., more than 40 years ago and are considered by some the most notorious of motorcycle gangs.