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Members of the Vagos and the Hells Angels, were allegedly involved in a fight at a local casino on Saturday afternoon, leaving one man badly beaten

Monday, 6 June 2011

Members of two rival motorcycle gangs were allegedly involved in a fight at a local casino on Saturday afternoon, leaving one man badly beaten, according to a report from the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

The incident – alleged to have taken place at a tattoo conference at the Konocti Vista Resort and Casino outside of Lakeport – involved the Vagos and the Hells Angels, both outlaw motorcycle gangs, according to a report from Capt. James Bauman.

Bauman said a member of the Vagos was brutally beaten, allegedly by a group of full-patch members of the Hells Angels.

At approximately 1:20 p.m. Saturday, sheriff’s deputies responded to Konocti Vista Casino after security reported that four to five Hells Angels were involved in a physical fight, Bauman said.

He said deputies arrived within minutes of the call and stopped a group of full-patch Hells Angels members who were walking out of the resort’s conference center.

As the group of Hells Angels allegedly were telling deputies that they knew nothing about a fight, resort security personnel alerted deputies to a green SUV leaving the resort that was reportedly occupied by the victim, Bauman said.

The green SUV was stopped by deputies a short distance from the resort. Bauman said the passenger in the SUV, identified as 39-year-old Michael Anthony Burns of Lakeport, was bleeding about the head and face, his face was swollen and he had a laceration under his right eye.

Burns, however, denied being involved in any altercation and alleged that his injuries occurred as the result of a “fall,” Bauman said.

Although Burns was a known validated member of the Vagos, a rival gang of the Hells Angels, he was released from further detention since he adamantly denied being assaulted. Bauman said the group of Hells Angels also left the resort.

Deputies later reviewed footage from the resort’s security surveillance system. Bauman said they were able to determine that two of the as-yet unidentified Hells Angels members allegedly had followed Burns and another subject out of the casino.

As Burns and the other subject entered the foyer in front of the casino, Burns allegedly was struck by one of the Hells Angels and all four men began fighting, Bauman said.

Four to six more Hells Angels then entered the foyer and while some of them allegedly joined in the assault on Burns, others blocked resort security personnel from trying to stop the assault, according to the report.

Bauman said Burns allegedly was left lying on the floor bleeding as the Hells Angels left the foyer. Burns eventually got up and left the foyer as well.

The Hells Angels allegedly seen assaulting Burns in the surveillance footage did not appear to be the same group contacted by deputies on their arrival, Bauman said.

He said the investigation continued into the night.

The sheriff's office said the Hells Angels and the Vagos “have a documented history of extreme violence and retaliation.”

Based on that history, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said it expects retaliation and further acts of violence.

Individuals wearing Hells Angels patches – featuring a helmeted skull – or the bright green Vagos insignia are members of the gangs and should be considered dangerous, the agency said.

The reported incident comes less than a month after a large group of Vagos showed up in Lakeport for an annual meeting.

When the Vagos showed up on May 14, Lakeport Police – assisted by several other local law enforcement agencies, including the sheriff's office and the California Highway Patrol – shut down some of the city's downtown streets because of safety concerns, as Lake County News has reported.

Police had reportedly received intelligence that the group's appearance was in connection to the beating of one of its members by two Hells Angels members some weeks before.

As law enforcement was monitoring the situation May 14, they received reports that a group of motorcycle riders – possibly Hells Angels – were heading toward the county.

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A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

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