The Seattle PI reported yesterday that an off-duty Seattle police officer attending the Sturgis Rally was detained in a shooting that left a Hells Angels MC member injured early Saturday morning. UPDATE: Sturgis Police identified the Hells Angels member as 33 year old Joseph McGuire of Imperial Beach, CA. The police officer is a member of the Iron Pigs Motorcycle club which is open to all law enforcement and firefighters who own and ride a V-Twin.
The confrontation happened on Main Street about 1 a.m. at the Loud American Roadhouse between the Hell’s Angels and members of the Iron Pigs Motorcycle club. It included five other Seattle law enforcement members and the Seattle Police Department has
“All five officers placed on administrative reassignment (relieved of duty) pending further investigation by the South Dakota authorities.”
It was reported that as many as 500 people were inside the club when officers from several agencies converged on the bar, evacuating patrons and securing the club. Dean Kinney, one of the bar’s owners, told the Rapid City Journal in Rapid City, S.D., that workers at the bar noticed several Hell’s Angels gathering in and outside the bar, and actually called police prior to the shooting as a precaution.
The Sturgis rally has a reputation, but Saturday’s shooting is the first to take place during the rally in nearly 20 years.
An unfortunate way to end the rally. I plan to follow this story and watch if the “spin” machine goes into overdrive!
Update #1: more background on the Iron Pigs M/C HERE.
Update #2: Sturgis Police identified the Hells Angels member as 33 year old Joseph McGuire of Imperial Beach, CA. Police are not releasing the Seattle Policeman name out of fears of his safety.
Update #4: August 14th – Seattle PI is reporting that Hells Angel member Joseph Patrick McGuire was arrested Jan. 18, 2007, as part of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the San Diego Police Department. Police served warrants on two San Diego-area homes that belonged to the president of the Hells Angels’ local chapter. McGuire is the chapter treasurer and was arrested at one of the homes in Pacific Beach, Calif. Police seized a pound and a half of marijuana, in addition to hydrocodone and oxycodone pills, and $5,000 in cash. The San Diego chapter president and vice president were charged in a separate cases in the investigation. McGuire was released on bond and scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Aug 20 in San Diego County Superior Court, with his trial set for September. He was charged with possession of marijuana for sale and two counts of illegal possession of narcotics.
Update #5: August 15, 2008 – Seattle Times is reporting that Smith testified against the HAMC in a high-profile racketeering and murder case last year. His testimony was characterized as “pretty periphery” to the case, however, suggestions were hinted that the Sturgis confrontation could be linked.
Update #6: September 5, 2008: The Argus Leader is reporting that both men (McGuire (HAMC) and Smith (Iron Pigs)) are charged with alternative counts of aggravated and simple assault. Smith was also charged with perjury. In addition, misdemeanor gun charges were also brought against the four other fellow bikers with Smith (also part of the Iron Pigs): Scott Lazalde (Bellingham, WA); Dennis McCoy (Seattle, WA); Erik Pingel (Aurora, CO) and James Rector (Ferndale, WA).
Update #7: September 9, 2008 – The Seattle.pi is reporting that the perjury charge has been dismissed against Smith. The grand jury indicted Smith last month on charges of aggravated assault, perjury and illegal possession of a concealed weapon. Smith initially stated he was carrying his personal firearm, but the Seattle Police Department records contradicted him, showing that it was a department-issued gun. This was the evidence that was presented which resulted in the perjury charge.
Update #8: September 17, 2008 – Aggravated assault charges dropped. See HERE for more info.
Update: #9: November 18, 2008 – All weapons charges dropped. See HERE for more info.
Update: #10: February 25, 2009 – In a plea agreement Joseph McGuire (HAMC) pleads no contest to simple assault (versus aggravated assault) and was sentenced to one year in the Meade County Jail. According to Rapid City Journal, McGuire’s sentence was suspended as long as he does not break the law. No fines were imposed, but he can not attend this years rally.
Update: #11: May 7, 2010 – Detective Ronald Smith has filed a lawsuit against the city of Seattle and the Seattle Police Department. Even though all charges were dropped the suit alleges the department disparaged him and negligently provided false information that led to his indictment on a perjury charge. This was an embarrassment and the lawsuit contends his reputation was harmed.
Iron Pigs M/C logo courtesy of web site and Loud American Roadhouse photo courtesy of Yan Soderlin / Rapid City Journal