INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — During a bold and never-before-seen show of presence in an attempt to establish territorial claim, four biker groups rallied in Indianapolis Saturday as IMPD officers maintained a wary watch.
Two long established Indianapolis biker gangs with approximately 130 motorcycles representing the Sons of Silence, the Outlaws and other allies, partnered up at a southeast side rally location before dispersing in small groups of a dozen or so riders to head for bars throughout the east side early Saturday afternoon.
Meanwhile, an apparently newly formed congregation of Hells Angels, many from Ohio but never previously represented in large strengths in central Indiana, was joined by other bikers, including the Black Pistons of Michigan, outside of a clubhouse location south of downtown.
At both locations, and at a South Meridian Street bar, IMPD patrol officers, motorcycle units, state and federal agents as well as a department helicopter, kept watch on the varied groups.
Homeland Security Commander Brian Mahone, accompanied by four officers and FOX59, engaged the leadership of the Sons of Silence/Outlaws contingent in a conversation about expected traffic behavior as the bikers prepared to set out on their various runs around Marion County.
Mahone briefed the bikers on the officers’ intention to provide a safe traffic venue while advising the rival gangs to steer clear of one another during their travels.
“I know you’re not going to say, ‘Hey, officers, help us out,’ if there is trouble,” said Mahone, “but we intend to keep everyone safe.”
“I told ‘em to ride today and drink tonight,” the biker leader said he told his crews.
One officer told FOX59, “its no coincidence” that the various bikers, numbering more than 200 riders in various locations, all chose Indianapolis as a location of their runs this weekend.
The Indianapolis biker community has been in flux and suffered a loss of strength and prominence during the past several years.
After a heyday in the 1990s when open warfare and pipe bombings marked the rivalries of the gangs, multiple local and federal narcotics, murder and racketeering investigations into the Outlaws stripped that organization of its top generations of leadership, culminating in the October 2015 bulldozing of the gang’s E. New York St. headquarters after its seizure by U.S. Marshals.
Since that time the group has been thought to be casting about for a new headquarters location which it may have secured at a mostly abandoned and rundown strip mall in southeast Marion County.
After a period of quiet and relative inactivity, traffic has also increased at the Sons of Silence fortress headquarters on W. Michigan Street in Haughville.
The Hells Angels, the most notorious and legendary of the outlaw biker gangs, has never enjoyed a presence in Indianapolis, limiting its Indiana operations to the northwest corner of the state, according to multiple investigators and biker community sources.
Within the last month, Angels colors have been noticed on the backs of Harley-Davidson riders in the city as well as the renovation of a clubhouse on Bluff Road.
More than 75 bikers sat in the hot afternoon sun outside that clubhouse today save for the 50 or so bikers that took a short spin around Monument Circle in a downtown crowded by construction and thousands of high school band participants in competition at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Three Metro patrol cars stood by the HA headquarters and one officer told Fox 59 News he enjoyed a civil conversation with the bikers and found many of them, like himself, to be military veterans.
As the afternoon wore on, and intended south side bar rendezvous within a short riding distance of the Angels headquarters did not materialize while other gangs confined themselves to other parts of the city, IMPD drew down its presence.
At nightfall, only a handful of bikers remained outside the Angels headquarters.
Investigators surmised that the bold presence of the Angels in Indianapolis at a time of perceived weakness on behalf of the local Sons and Outlaws gangs led to today’s muscle flexing.
IMPD did not report any incidents involving the bikers but for one minor injury when a rider dumped his bike.