Police were warned

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    Mar 30, 2002
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    <A HREF="http://www.chopperguy.net/~bikernews/">Outsider's 1%er News</A>

    Police were warned gathering
    could turn violent.
    April 30, 2002


    Metro homicide detectives expect more arrests will be made in Saturday's
    deadly melee at Harrah's in Laughlin, but say those arrests won't come soon.
    "This case is like no other I've ever seen before in that we have so many
    dead and we presume that we have more than one assailant," homicide Lt. Tom
    Monahan said. "This is going to be one lengthy investigation so you should
    buckle in for the long haul." Meanwhile, court documents say police had been
    warned that the annual gathering of motorcycle riders could turn violent.
    Just after 2 a.m. Saturday, police allege, members of rival motorcycle clubs,
    the Hells Angels and the Mongols, got into a gun and knife fight inside
    Harrah's. According to court documents, nearly 30 Hells Angels members left
    the Flamingo Hilton where they normally stay and went over to Harrah's,
    knowing that is where the Mongols traditionally stay. Once inside, they
    headed immediately to Rosa's Cantina and the fight broke out. "Numerous
    gunshots were heard as (Metro Police) officers were entering the hotel," an
    arrest report reads. Three California men -- Jeramie Dean Bell, 27, of
    Hughson, Robert Emmet Tumelty, 50, of Stockton, and Anthony Salvador Barrera,
    43, of Rancho Cucamonga -- were killed. Twelve others, including five
    hospitalized at University Medical Center, were injured. According to the
    court documents, law enforcement agencies were aware before the start of the
    Laughlin River Run that there was the potential for violence. "Intelligence
    reports indicated the Mongols intended to bolster their status by attacking
    members of the Hells Angels. Early on, several minor incidents occurred
    between these two groups," a Metro arrest report says. Duff Taylor, president
    of the Laughlin Chamber of Commerce, said that Metro Police may have informed
    casino operators of potential violence between feuding motorcycle clubs. But
    Taylor suggested that police may not have had information on specific clubs.
    "It was known that there was some tension between outlaw gangs. But I don't
    think it was known specifically what gang was going to be more aggressive
    than another gang," Taylor said. More than 300 law enforcement officers were
    assigned in and around Laughlin for the event, including more than 200 Metro
    officers. Other agencies included the California and Nevada highway patrols,
    National Park Service, Mohave County Sheriff, Arizona Department of Public
    Safety, Bullhead City Police, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the
    FBI. Normally Laughlin has a contingent of 36 Metro officers, but the
    beefed-up police presence was typical for the River Run, a Metro spokesman
    said. One Hells Angel member, Calvin Schaefer of Chandler, Ariz., was
    arrested on murder charges and is scheduled to make his first court
    appearance before Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Deborah Lippis Wednesday.
    The arrest report states Schaefer is seen on a surveillance tape pulling out
    a 9 mm weapon, firing it numerous times and then hiding it in a trash can. "I
    fully anticipate additional arrests will be made, but only after careful
    consideration of the videos, an examination of the evidence and consultations
    with the district attorney's office," Monahan said. By this morning one of
    the five UMC patients had been released and the other four were in good or
    fair condition, hospital spokesman Rick Plummer said. Hospital security and
    Metro officers were carefully monitoring visitors in the wing in which the
    bikers were recovering, he said. Monahan said the fact the violence occurred
    in a casino is a "double-edged sword," because while it was caught on
    surveillance video, there is a large crime scene to analyze and a large
    number of witnesses. Metro personnel spent Saturday collecting evidence at
    the crime scene and interviewing witnesses, Monahan said. Most of Sunday was
    spent at the coroner's office. "(Monday) we've been going through all of the
    witness interviews, duplicating the videos and assessing where we're at,"
    Monahan said. Monahan said it is clear the three victims were among the 2
    percent of all motorcyclists who are "outlaw bikers." Friends of Robert
    Tumelty's said they find that hard to believe. Kimberley Minasian and her
    father, Daniel Minasian, own Angel's Mattresses, which is next to Tumelty's
    motorcycle shop in Stockton, Calif. "There is no way in heck he was an outlaw
    biker. No way in heck," Daniel Minasian said. "He was a member of an
    organization just like any other organization. I've never heard of any
    trouble with the Hells Angels in Stockton." The Minasians, who said Tumelty
    went by the nickname of "Festus," was a generous man who organized benefits
    anytime anyone was in need, including one when a fellow biker died and needed
    a headstone. Tumelty also organized an annual Christmas biker toy run for
    children in Stockton, the Minasians said. Both Minasians said Tumelty will be
    missed. "Everybody loved him," Daniel Minasian said. "He was the wrong person
    to die. He was too good a person."

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