Remember the 2002 River Run Riot? Five years ago the Laughlin, Nevada Police warned casino operators of possible trouble at the biker event…and a battle inside the Harrah’s Laughlin casino left three dead and sent about a dozen others to hospitals. Photo courtesy of Review Journal. The Police report went something like this…
Inside Harrah’s Laughlin, where the Mongols and Hells Angels clashed, police found six guns, 50 knives, two hammers, two wrenches and six flashlights. A homemade weapon consisting of a piece of leather weighted with metal also was recovered inside the casino. On the outside of the casino, police found three more guns, 15 knives and three flashlights.
A total of nine guns, 65 knives were recovered at scene.
The Mongols and Hells Angels battle changed the event for everyone, FOREVER! The mix of Harley-loving Yuppies and gun-toting bikers bubbled over to the deadly level and marred the 20-year-old Laughlin River Run and the casino town’s most marketable event. Somewhere between 40,000 to 80,000 bikers arrive in the city every April and for a group of friends who meet to ride our hogs in the Mojave Desert the event has become major overkill to ensure people’s safety at the expense of fun and/or freedom.
They punished 99 percent of the people for what the 1 percent’r do. But with Police posted signs to discourage bikers from showing “colors,” or clothing that evangilizes gang affiliations. Security was super heavy this year at many casinos, and police cars peppered the stretch of U.S. Highway 95 leading into town…they were sending a message to everyone: “Don’t even think about it.” The little town outside Vegas where you had a chance to kind of cut loose a little bit, walk around, have a few beers, people-watch and check out bikes is filled with heavy-handed Police reminders of the 2002 brawl.
Can’t we have uninterrupted revving and rumbling of engines and the occasional burn-out with out police intervention? The days of simpler pleasures are over!
So where are the trouble makers?
Well the Feds had issues…clearly! It’s taken 5 plus years to get a conviction and they had casino video tape to help prove the case.
Five plus years of River Run Riot history captured by Review Journal HERE.
Brawl Video inside Harrah’s Casino, Laughlin HERE.