Up to 1,000 Hells Angels will cruise into Whitby this weekend
Published July 20, 2022 at 7:29 pm
Whitby and Brooklin are preparing for a busy weekend as nearly 1,000 Hells Angels club members are set to roll through town.
The outlaw motorcycle club members are attending the Canada Run, a mandatory ride and party in which all Canadian chapters get together to socialize, hosted in Brooklin.
The Brooklin HA Chapter is one of the more recent expansions for the club, opening in 2019, but the Hells Angels have long operated in the region. The Oshawa-based Phantom Riders united several other clubs across Ontario into Satan’s Choice in 1964, eventually becoming the largest in Canada and the second largest motorcycle club in the world behind the Hells Angels. After decades of alternating conflict and cooperation, the Choice patched over into Hells Angels members in 2000. The Oshawa clubhouse was shut down in 2008 following police Operation Tandem.
Hells Angels members remain active in Durham. A joint DRPS-RCMP investigation dubbed Project Kakia filed 291 charges against 28 people including Hells Angels and Red Devils (a support club) members last year.
In all 17 people from Clarington, Oshawa, Pickering and Scugog were charged. Police seized $1.2 million in drugs, 32 guns, and $290,000 in cash.
In a press conference early this week Durham Police described the Hells Angels as “an outlaw motorcycle club. They are one-percenters, the one per cent of motorcycle riders that who believe they live outside of the law.”
“They have provincial, national and international networks and their illegal activities include an array of crimes,” police continued.
However, police stressed these kinds of events “aren’t a significant public safety risk.” That said officers have gone around to local business and hotels to let them know what to expect when Hells Angels members go to their establishments.
Officers will be shutting down some roads in town over the weekend. Baldwin St, otherwise known as Hwy 12, north of Columbus will only be open to local traffic from 4 a.m. July 22 to 9 p.m. July 24. Durham police said this is to ensure the safety of both locals and event attendees.
The get together will be held at a private home in Brooklin. While police will maintain a visible presence in the neighbourhood, they expect a “quiet, uneventful weekend,” per Deputy Chief Dean Bertrim.
While the gathering is at a single address, members are expected to rent hotel, motel and Air B&B lodgings. As a result police are stepping up their presence at locations throughout the Region.
The Hells Angels will also be hosting a ride through town so police expect a “large amount of motorcyclist travelling on the roadway” at some point over the weekend, Bertrim added.
“This will not affect our day-today operations,” Bertrim said, though DRPS is going above their usual staff contingent over the weekend to monitor events. Officers from the OPP, Peel Region and Toronto will also be on hand to assist.
Bertrim would not comment on how many cops will be in Brooklin but said there will be an “enhanced visible presence.”insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies