Residents of a community on Long Island, New York, are none too happy with their newest neighbors.
But this isn’t a matter of a loud new family or overly nosy couple moving in next door.
No, this is one of the most notorious biker gangs in history that’s joining the neighborhood. Some may say that concern is justified.
As WNYW-TV reports, the Hells Angel Motorcycle Club is purchasing a vacant church in Centereach. Suffolk County.
The Hells Angels are reportedly planning on using the church, which has been vacant for years, to be their new Suffolk headquarters.
The local residents are understandably apprehensive about the prospects of living alongside a gang that has a history of running afoul of the law.
“Nobody wants this in their own backyard. This is something you have to be very concerned about,” a person who did not want to be identified told WNYW-TV. “Drug dealing is their major (enterprise, as well as), prostitution. That’s a lot of the stuff that goes on with these guys.”
“I’ve been around for a long time and I remember motorcycle people and these people aren’t good motorcycle people,” said an unidentified woman who lives a mere three blocks away.
“All of us are a bit concerned about it because we have young kids and we don’t know what their intention is,” Centereach resident Farro Paul told the New York Post.
“A club like this doesn’t belong in a private neighborhood,” Paul, 50, added. “In the ’70s they were a big gang. Now they are involved with nonprofits. I don’t know what they’re up to. There’s a lot we don’t know.”
“They’re not people who care,” Centereach resident Barbara Frer King told WABC-TV. “They’re people who do what they want to do.”
“This is a residential neighborhood. Not a nice move,” Centereach resident Laura Fellone said to WABC-TV. “These poor people will never sell their houses. I mean who’s gonna wanna buy them?”
Unsurprisingly, representatives of the Hells Angels insist that the Centereach residents have nothing to worry about.
“We understand that the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club has a fearsome reputation but once you get past that image, once you get past that prejudice, and get to know these folks as your neighbors, I think everything is gonna be just fine,” Hells Angels attorney Ron Kuby told WABC-TV.
“They have nothing to fear. Believe me they have nothing to fear,” a Hells Angels member who identified himself as Mario told WNYW-TV. “We’re business owners, family oriented.”
Character concerns aside, there is something not quite right about a group called Hells Angels operating out of a vacant church.
It’s no depiction of Jesus in ICE detention at a church, but it’s unsettling nonetheless.
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