Following a shooting outside the Hells Angels’ East Village clubhouse early Sunday that left a man wounded, police on early Tuesday afternoon removed items from the sidewalk in front of the place.
Shortly before 1 p.m., police vans closed off E. Third St. between Second and First Aves.
Led by Captain Vincent Greany, the Ninth Precinct’s commanding officer, about 30 to 40 cops participated in the operation.
They removed two potted plants on either side of the clubhouse’s door, as well as a bench, plus used a circular saw to cut off a small ramp that led to the building’s easternmost door. All of this material was carted off in a Department of Sanitation flatbed truck.
“We just cleaned up the front a little bit,” Greany said. “We issued an Environmental Control Board summons.”
Asked if police had a warrant for the action, the captain said no, and noted that they didn’t go inside the building, though they did knock on the door. No one answered.
So, police left the E.C.B. summons in a manila envelope taped to the front door.
After the police left, however, a group of three people exited the six-story building and walked off westbound.
They included two men relatively small and non-burly wearing hooded winter coats and backpacks and a woman.
A bit later, another woman exited the building, wearing large sunglasses and puffing on a cigarette, and walked off eastward.
At one point during the police action, someone inside the building briefly pulled back a shade in a second-floor window and looked outside. A witness who saw this said he wasn’t sure if it had been a man or a woman.
Summonses were also issued for three of the Hells Angels’ motorcycles that were parked outside on the street under covers. It’s illegal to cover a license plate, Greany noted.
According to radical attorney Ron Kuby, who has represented the Hells Angels in past cases, police the day before had removed the orange cones that the biker gang uses to claim its parking spots on both sides of the street around its clubhouse. There were no cones visible on Tuesday.
“How many police does it take to capture cones?” he asked rhetorically.
The fight Sunday was sparked when a group of five friends in a car reportedly moved one of the cones so that they could get around a livery cab parked outside the Hells Angels’ H.Q.
A melee subsequently ensued during which one of the men in the car reportedly fetched a chain out of the car’s trunk and started swinging it around.
One of the non-Hells Angels, David Martinez, 25, got the best of one of the bikers, knocking him down, and then was going to give him another kick.
But the man possibly a “prospective” gang member, according to TOT News quickly whipped out a gun and shot Martinez once in the chest.
The wounded man was recovering at Bellevue Hospital.
An official-looking sign next to the door notes that the parking around the clubhouse is only for “authorized Hells Angels.”
Kuby scoffed at Tuesday’s police action.
“They took away two beautiful conifers little Christmas trees because, what,
they don’t have a permit for a potted plant?” he asked. “Look, the N.Y.P.D. is obviously upset about the shooting. They expect cooperation from an organization that does not ask things from or give things to the police.
“I mean, the last time a Hells Angel asked for something from the police was when a Hells Angel gave something to police which is never,” Kuby stated.
“To paraphrase Bob Dylan, ‘The Hells Angels don’t need you. And, man, they expect the same.’ That’s from ‘Just Like Tom Thumb Blues.’”
Kuby said he had not yet talked to anyone from the Hells Angels about the shooting. He said all he knows about what allegedly happened is what he has read in the daily tabloids.
“I wasn’t there,” he said. “I haven’t spoken to any witnesses. I don’t know what guy did what. Nobody’s contacted me regarding representation.”
The attorney has previously repped the Hells Angels in civil cases against the city, such as when police executed warrants to search the clubhouse but exceeded the scope of what they were allowed to do, or made “false arrests,” he said. He has also represented members of the biker gang when they faced criminal charges.
Kuby said the shooting incident is not an evolving case, but actually “a devolving case.”
“Neighbors didn’t complain about the trees,” he said.