PROVIDENCE — A man previously identified by state police as the Rhode Island chapter president of the Hells Angels motorcycle club was charged with disorderly conduct stemming from an incident at the Cadillac Lounge strip club late Saturday.
City police said they saw Joseph Lancia, 28, of Smithfield, punch a man in the face as they tried to clear other members of the motorcycle club from the Charles Street club.
The victim fell to the ground, hitting his head on the pavement, and appeared to be unconscious, police said.
Police who were working a detail at the club were originally alerted to a “disturbance” in the bar area just before midnight. They saw Hells Angels members arguing with security and staff, and saw an assistant manager bleeding from the nose and mouth.
The assistant manager told police that he was trying to calm an argument between Cadillac Lounge staff and a motorcycle club member when he was punched in the face by an unknown motorcycle club member.
But he did not want to make a formal complaint, he said, and instead said he would be fine if the club members all left for the night.
It took a few minutes for police and security to remove the motorcycle club members. That’s when police said they saw Lancia walk out of the club and punch a 43-year-old man in the face just outside the exit. The 43-year-old later regained consciousness and was taken to Rhode Island Hospital. But he let it be known, police said, that he didn’t wish to make a formal complaint. Because of that, police said, Lancia could only be charged with disorderly conduct.
“We’ll also review the incident and there could be further charges,” Maj. David Lapatin said Sunday.
Police took Lancia into custody on scene.
Dick Shappy, the owner of the Cadillac Lounge, said Sunday morning that he was gathering facts. Both victims worked at the club, he said.
“I’m not happy with this type of incident,” Shappy said. “It’s certainly very disturbing, my guys getting hurt.”
Lancia was charged in June after state police said he fired a gun at a person driving by the Messer Street Hells Angels clubhouse.
The bullet hit the side of the man’s vehicle, and no one was injured, state police said at the time.
The charges against Lancia in the June case include felony assault and discharging a firearm while committing a crime of violence. That case is still pending, according to court records. Lancia was free on $100,000 surety bail.