UPDATE: WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) – Seven men believed to be associated with the Hells Angels are in court for their first hearing after charges are re-filed against them.
They are charged with aggravated battery, armed robbery, and kidnapping just to give a little background. The Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s office had dropped the charges a month ago to protect a witness. A judge will decide whether to dismiss the new charges at another hearing set for December.
UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Just over a half dozen men believed to belong to the Hell’s Angels motorcycle club have been recharged from a case police say they were involved in more than a year ago.
The State always intended to bring those charges back. At the time, prosecutors said they were dropping the case because they couldn’t guarantee the safety of a witness, but State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato says that is no longer an issue.
“All our concerns with regards to evidence and the witnesses in particular have been answered and we are ready to proceed so we refiled the charges,” said Bruscato.
All seven defendants face the same charges as before which included aggravated battery, armed robbery and kidnapping.
This all stems from a case that happened in the summer of 2013. The members of the hells Angels were accused of beating up a man and holding an 11-year-old victim hostage.
The attorney for two of the defendants says he was shocked the state refiled the charges.
“You just have to question the prosecutor’s office in this situation for deciding and wasting the taxpayers money in a case which is most likely unprovable and in which a witness is highly unreliable."
Obviously, the state disagrees with those claims. They say they’re ready for trial and it’s a case prosecutors believe they can win. They’ll be in court on Tuesday from an arraignment.
The scheduling for the case is really up to the judge, but State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato said since a lot of the evidence has already been collected and the attorneys are up to speed on the case, it probably won’t take as long to bring the case to trial.
UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Seven alleged members of the Hell’s Angels who were arrested for beating up a man last year are off the hook. The Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office has decided to dismiss the case against those members of the motorcycle group.
Deputy State’s Attorney Jim Brun says it came down to the victim’s safety.
Chief Judge Joe McGraw denied multiple motions today from prosecutors to delay the trial for seven members which was set to begin on Monday.
Brun says the victim was not going to come to the trial and because of that, the state dismissed the case. That means those seven members of the Hells Angels no longer face those charges which included battery, armed robbery, and kidnapping.
“As I indicated, the State’s Attorney’s responsibility is to provide a fair trial to all, so we’re certainly not going to rush a case to trail just to says everyone has their right to due process and everyone has their right to a fair trial and part of that is to protect our, all our witnesses so that is part of our decision making process that we deployed at this time,” said Brun.
Four others who were also charged in this case already took plea deals and those deals will not change.
The state can refile those charges at any time and Brun says that will happen but didn’t want to comment on how soon that will happen.
We also spoke with one of the attorneys representing one of those defendants and he said at this time, members of the Hells Angels aren’t quite ready to talk to us.
ROCKFORD (WIFR) – A motorcycle gang known internationally for its organized crime is facing a lot of heat from Rockford Police. We’ve learned 12 members of the Hells Angels were arrested today, one week before hundreds of bikers are set to roll into town for the group’s convention.
We’re told it was a large operation as local, state, and federal agencies worked together to arrest a dozen Hells Angels early this morning.
12 members of the notorious biker gang were arrested for allegedly getting into a massive brawl at their club house earlier this summer on Rock Street near South Main and Morgan Streets. Their charges include armed robbery, unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle, using various weapons like a taser, knife, and axe. They’re also charged with kidnapping, because a child was present without their parent’s permission. Rockford Police say they worked with seven other agencies executing 14 arrest warrants throughout the Stateline and even as far as Chicago, all just after five this morning. They also tell us they’re still searching for two men, Jose Velma of Countryside and Christopher Lawson of Rockford.
The club house has been condemned for code violations. Some of the men were arrested at the Winnebago County Fairgrounds where Breastfest, a biker-run event is going on. All 14 men will be held on a $1 million bond.
Rockford Police Lieutenant Pat Hoey tells us the Hells Angels convention appears to still be on for next Saturday. It’s at Lyran Park, so expect a lot of motorcyclists to be on the road.
ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Below is a press release from Rockford Police concerning charges against 14 individuals for allegations of aggravated battery, armed robbery and kidnapping that occurred at the Hells Angels Clubhouse in Rockford.
In June 2013 the Rockford Police Department began a criminal investigation regarding allegations of aggravated battery, armed robbery and kidnapping that occurred at the Hells Angels Clubhouse, located at 1109 Rock Street in Rockford. The victims of the crimes were known associates of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Gang. Rockford Police Detectives reviewed the allegations with the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office and charges were authorized on fourteen individuals.
At approximately 5:15 AM on Friday July 19, 2013 the Rockford Police Department, Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department, Illinois State Police, Chicago Police Department, Agents with the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office executed 14 simultaneous arrests warrants. These arrest warrant locations included 13 residences in Rockford, Loves Park, Rockton, Pecatonica, Belvidere, Freeport, Chicago, Countryside, IL and the Winnebago County Fair Grounds. Rockford Police also executed a search warrant at the Hells Angels clubhouse located at 1109 Rock Street in Rockford.
Charges on all of the individuals include:
• Armed Robbery (4 Counts) (Class X Felony)
• Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery (Class 1 Felony)
• Aggravated Kidnapping of a child under 13 years old (Class X Felony) (The child victim in this case was not harmed)
• Unlawful Possession of a Stolen Vehicle (Class 2 Felony)
• Aggravated Battery by use of Taser (Class 3 Felony)
• Aggravated Battery by use of knife (Class 3 Felony)
• Aggravated Battery by use of an axe handle (Class 3 Felony)
• Mob Action (2 Counts)(Class 4 Felony)
Bonds on all fourteen individuals are set at $1,000,000.
The building at 1109 Rock Street was condemned by the City of Rockford for several building code violations.
Suspects listed below:
Neal Resendez, Sep 27, 1948
Richard Todd, Jun 01, 1959
Robert Bell, Jan 13, 1964
John Savalick, Nov 19, 1965
Curt Lambert , Feb 12, 1975
Dariusz Achramowicz, Jan 15, 1963
Tomas Lech, Aug 13, 1975
Aloysius Balice, Apr 20, 1979
Bradley Willhelms, Jun 06, 1981
Dennis R. Juno, Sep 25, 1972
Donald J. Hess, Sep 01, 1972
Loves Park, IL
Earl Murray, Aug 04, 1967
Velma, Jose, Jun 05, 1965
NOT IN CUSTODY
Christopher Lawson , Oct 29, 1973
NOT IN CUSTODY