Roaring motorcycle engines and late-night carousing have bedeviled the once-quiet Bronx neighborhood where the Hells Angels have just set up their new New York headquarters.
The infamous motorcycle gang bought a two-story brick building in middle-class Throggs Neck, and a noisy gathering at the headquarters earlier this month disturbed neighbors.
“You could hear them, they were loud,” said Chris Fernandez, 36, whose home overlooks the new club at 241 Longstreet Ave. “Oh, my God, they were going the whole weekend, literally through the night.”
Fernandez said the group has been quiet since that weekend, though a man who identified himself as a club member told the Daily News on Monday the gang has continued to hold events.
Trouble seems to find the Angels wherever they go.
In December 2018, a food delivery worker who parked his vehicle in front of a row of bikes at Hells Angels’ former headquarters on E. 3rd St. in the East Village was punched in the face. Also at the former East Village headquarters, a biker was charged after shooting a man in the stomach for moving a cone holding a parking spot.
The Hells Angels sold the E. 3rd St. site to a developer in in June, and moved their base to the Bronx.
“We’ll be reaching out to NYPD to discuss the matter at greater length,” Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.’s spokesman John DeSio said of the Hells Angels’ new club.
The staff lawyer for Councilman Mark Gjonaj, whose district includes Throggs Neck, repped the Hells Angels in the August sale of the property, according to state records. The building sold for $1.25 million. The building was formerly occupied by an American Legion post.
The lawyer, Ted Pryor, did not respond to questions about his role in the sale or the Hells Angels’ plans for their new property, which features a pillar with the club name in bold red letters and the club’s eerie skull logo on the second story.
“This was a private transaction that had no reporting requirement to any elected official or the local community board,” Gjonaj’s spokesman Reginald Johnson said in a statement. “The Councilman was only recently made aware of the sale. He expects the group to abide by all quality of life laws and ordinances. If they do not, he will work with law enforcement to ensure their compliance.”
But the involvement of Gjonaj’s lawyer still raised eyebrows among neighbors.
Gjonaj “knew what was going on from the beginning, so why’d he allow it?” speculated Awilda Cordero, president of social services nonprofit Emergency Rights. “He doesn’t have to live here.”
She said bikers gave her dirty looks and tried to stare her down when they moved into the club, which is surrounded by concrete and has a chain-link fence separating it from the street.
“They were making us feel like, ‘We’re here, what are you gonna do about it?’” Cordero said.
In addition to fears that property values will go down, residents voiced concerns over Hells Angels’ links to white nationalism. Recent years have seen growing ties between biker gangs and white supremacists, the Anti-Defamation League warned in 2011, while the congressional district that includes Throggs Neck is 46.2% foreign born, according to the U.S. Census.
“I wouldn’t say I’m 100% comfortable having someone with those views in the area,” said Fernandez, a mechanical contractor.
“Like any other neighbor that owns property in our community, we welcome them,” Community Board 10 District Manager Matt Cruz said. “Of course, our board office is willing to meet and see how they can be helpful to our community.
“We are hoping that … they will be good neighbors,” he added.