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8/23/2010 10:01:00 AM
Rival motorcycle gangs clash in shootout off Road 3 North and Yuma Drive

Yavapai County Sheriff's Office deputies, Department of Public Safety officers and Chino Valley police officers group together in their SWAT gear at the site of a motorcycle gang shootout in Chino Valley Saturday afternoon.
Photo courtesy Matt Hinshaw
Yavapai County Sheriff's Office deputies, Department of Public Safety officers and Chino Valley police officers group together in their SWAT gear at the site of a motorcycle gang shootout in Chino Valley Saturday afternoon.
Photo courtesy Matt Hinshaw
A Yavapai County Sheriff's Office deputy dressed in SWAT gear turns away a vehicle at a roadblock on Road 4 North near the site of a motorcycle gang shootout in Chino Valley Saturday afternoon.
Photo courtesy Matt Hinshaw
A Yavapai County Sheriff's Office deputy dressed in SWAT gear turns away a vehicle at a roadblock on Road 4 North near the site of a motorcycle gang shootout in Chino Valley Saturday afternoon.
Photo courtesy Matt Hinshaw

Doug Cook
Special to the Review

At least four or five people suffered gunshot wounds after a reported shootout between two rival motorcycle gangs early Saturday afternoon in a remote neighborhood off Road 3 North and Yuma Drive on county property west of Chino Valley.

Dozens of Yavapai County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a large, two-story gray stucco home on Yuma Drive where numerous gang members apparently had congregated overnight Friday and into Saturday.

Around 12:15 p.m., YCSO received many phone calls regarding shots fired at the home in the 2600 block of Yuma Drive. Dwight D'Evelyn, sheriff's office spokesman, said that upon arrival at the scene, YCSO deputies and Chino Valley police officers began detaining suspected motorcycle gang members.

No deaths were reported. Sheriff's deputies at the scene would not release information to the media.

In the late afternoon, TV images showed several dozen men and a few women dressed in biker garb outside a rural home in the Chino Valley area with Harley-Davidson motorcycles parked alongside. Heavily armed law enforcement officers kept them under surveillance, the Associated Press reported.

Nearby, several dozen police vehicles blocked roadways into the area, and two men wearing biker garb were in plastic handcuffs, the AP added.

Hours earlier, at 1:47 p.m., two helicopters circled around the perimeter of the crime scene. About half an hour later, at 2:10 p.m., paramedics who had landed next to the gray home in a Verde Valley Medical Center helicopter could be seen exiting the residence with one person on a stretcher. That person was flown to a Phoenix-area hospital.

D'Evelyn added that deputies roped off several crime scene areas in and around Yuma Drive, which is located several miles west of Highway 89 off Road 4 North. Starting around noon and lasting well into the night, sheriff's deputies and Chino Valley Fire District firefighters had blocked the intersection of Yuma Drive and Pheasant Place with yellow tape.

In the late afternoon, three sheriff's SWAT officers armed with machine guns stood in front of the intersection with their SUVs to prevent anyone from driving toward the gray home as siren lights from several law enforcement vehicles blared behind them on the east side of Yuma Drive. At 4:45 p.m., YCSO's Mobile Command Unit arrived on Yuma.

Early Saturday afternoon, a resident who lives about a half-mile south of the gray house and did not want to reveal his name said he heard a rumor that the home had been used in the past as a hangout for Hells Angels motorcycle gang members, but that they had never bothered him.

YCSO detectives and many other law enforcement agencies, including the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Chino Valley police, stationed themselves at the scene of the gray home and another residence at the intersection of Road 4 North and Yuma Drive.

In the early afternoon, a DPS helicopter could be seen circling the perimeter of the gray home, presumably in search of suspects.

A woman who lives on the corner of Yuma and Pheasant Place, but did not release her name, said she called 911 between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. after she saw suspicious behavior near her home on Yuma.

She said she saw two men on motorcycles, although one of them did not seem to know how to ride, traveling on Yuma. Moments later, she said she witnessed a black SUV driving backwards after the bikers.

Once the struggling rider was able to get his bike going, she said he then stopped because he saw his buddies drive by in a white four-door Chevy truck.

"He said, 'Somebody just stole my bike. Give me a gun,' " she said.

She added that she then ran into her house to call 911 and later heard four gunshots.

A half-mile away from the gray home, a silver Dodge Durango was parked off a side road, and witnesses at the scene say it had been stopped on suspicion of being involved in a felony, and there were three to four men inside. As of late Saturday afternoon, a buck knife lay in the gravel in front of the vacated truck, which had two of its doors still open and nearly a full bottle of Dr. Pepper lying on the road next to the passenger side.

The woman witness said she saw red-shirted, black-vested men in the Durango.

Earlier in the morning, at about 9:30 a.m., the woman said she had taken a walk past the gray house and described it as calm. But she saw bikers riding in and out at the intersection of Road 4 North and Yuma who were not wearing gang-affiliated motorcycle jackets.

"If there was a rival gang, it slipped in real quiet," she said.

A longtime resident on Pheasant Place, who also did not give his name, said he could hear motorcycles going "pretty fast" up and down Yuma Drive late Saturday morning. He said some of the bikers went toward the gray house. Moments later, he heard multiple gunshots from handguns.

From a distance, the witness said he could see that one man had gotten shot "in the gut." He added that two men on motorcycles later took off on foot while other bikers rode north on Yuma.

The witness said he heard several rounds of gunshots over a two- to three-minute period. Police later told him to stay inside his house.

"I thought people were in the house, but there were just motorcycle people," he said. "So many rounds were fired, it was unbelievable. It sounded like handguns - pow, pow, pow."

The man said he thinks the Hells Angels got into a fight with another group of riders that he did not recognize.

Another longtime resident in the neighborhood, a man who also did not to give his name, said the Hells Angels had a presence at the gray house dating back to the late 1990s and would throw parties.

But he added that for the past five years, the home and the neighborhood had been quiet - until Saturday. The female witness concurred, saying that an older man on oxygen was living there and had spoken to her often.

In December, a DPS spokesman said an ongoing power struggle in northwestern Arizona between the Vagos and Hells Angels motorcycle clubs has led to a series of violent assaults. It is unclear whether this incident is related to those.

D'Evelyn said YCSO expects to release more information about Saturday's incident sometime today.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2012
Article comment by: robert bobins

as a man thats been working all over the states ive never seen a town so back words every day you see people being pulled over two or three times they have nothing for kids in this town and here is a group of people trying to do the right thing for the kids and to show there is good not all bad im sure there will be alot of harassment by the cops and there ego if im correct the charges were droped why? because the law thinks it is above the law did any one get charged or fired for not following the law in the court house ? im sure that they the so called law will try to instingate trouble the first thing you see entering this town is red and blue lights are the ones running this town that stupid that by having nothing here for our kids is why kids turn to drugs the mayer should be ashamed of him self as for the cops well there not much better than the skinheads all over the states all tatted up and ride to but they have a badge so god forbide that no one gets hurt and god willing every one has a good time as for what happend last year well it seems its better for the cops to just charge every one and spend alot of money that could be used for the good of the town this place is like texas lock every one up spend tons of money just to find out the ones to up hold the law are breaking the law if i lye to a cop im charged with it if a person of the law lyes to the courts nothing happens to them in the mean time they destroy familys the town gets a bad rap this town needs to do some thinking about the times ahead goverment is not above the law i will not be staying in a town were the cops need to seek mentel health treatment bad carma here and good luck on your event hells angels i have yet to see cops doing anything for the kids around here good luck today and god bless anyone that gets pulled over

Posted: Thursday, August 16, 2012
Article comment by: Crime wave

Now these biker gangs are showing their true colors. The filthy few, I coundn't have come up with a better name for these (people) myself.

Posted: Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Article comment by: Artis Gilmore

The County Attorney had better get all the charges submitted within the legal limits. This total disregard for the general public safety is not going to be tolerated. Throw them in jail and keep them there. Period...

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