A downtown Cranbrook street fight between some Alberta Hells Angels and rivals from the Rebels motorcycle gang came as biker clubs have taken to the road again after the easing COVID travel restrictions.
Police from B.C.’s anti-gang Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit were called in after the chance encounter between the HA’s Southlands chapter and the Rebels group at a gas station in downtown Cranbrook about 7 p.m. on July 23.
Five bikers showed up at the hospital with stab wounds, prompting a police lockdown of the hospital as others arrived on scene.
Police escorted the Rebels back to the B.C.-Alberta border, while the Calgary-based Hells Angels left the province on their own the following day.
Biker gang experts told Postmedia Monday that members of the two groups were out on informal rides into B.C. but were not meeting Hells Angels or others from this province.
“They’ve been dormant for the last year and a half, right? Now they’re going to be anxious to get out there and display their presence,” said retired Vancouver Police biker specialist Brad Stephen.
He said the fight was “an example of the territoriality and the volatility of outlaw motorcycle gangs. The clear threat to the general public was on display at a gas station where innocent persons could have easily been hurt.”
CFSEU’s media officer, Sgt. Brenda Winpenny, said the agency’s uniformed gang enforcement team, as well as and “other specialized members of our team who deal specifically with outlaw motorcycle gangs attended the area of Cranbrook to assist the local police with mitigating any potential further violence and to ensure public safety.”
While the Cranbrook RCMP said in a news release that its investigation into the melee continues, both biker gangs have a history of refusing to cooperate with police.