mobbed up - February 7, 2008 02:11 PM (GMT)
More biker violence on the way?
By KITTY CAPARELLA
Philadelphia Daily News
Is more biker bloodshed yet to come in retaliation for an outlaw Pagan leader shot last week?
Authorities are monitoring biker activities to prevent more violence after Timothy "Casual" Flood, 46, the president of the Philly chapter of the Pagan Outlaw Motorcycle Club, was shot in the left leg and injured in his back last Thursday.
The mysterious incident has raised more questions than answers, though authorities believe that it was a local dispute among area Pagans.
Investigators were dubious of claims by Flood that he was wounded in a drive-by shooting in the parking lot of Fluke's Irish Pub, on State Street near Bleigh Avenue in the Northeast.
"There was no crime scene, no blood, no shell casings, no nothing," said an investigator. Nor were there police radio calls reporting gunshots in the area.
And no one inside Fluke's, a hangout for city, state and federal law-enforcement officers, reported hearing gunshots.
Flood's only known problem is his predecessor, Steven "Gorilla" Mondevergine, the burly former South Philly Pagans chapter president, who wants his old job back, according to knowledgeable sources. The two bikers have not spoken in the past year.
Last year, a Pagan pal called Mondevergine to turn in his "colors" - a denim vest denoting his rank as a chapter president - after he was kicked out of the club, one of at least four times he was ousted since early 2006, said sources.
"Why don't you and your fat friend [Flood] come and get them?" retorted Mondevergine, according to a source, who noted his club status went from "out" to "out bad."
Mondevergine had lost the confidence of Mother Club president David "Black Bart" Barbieto and vice president Floyd "Jesse" Moore, after holding unauthorized meetings with rival outlaw bikers - most recently, Warlock gang turncoats who joined the Outlaws, according to knowledgeable sources.
"He doesn't like being told what to do," said one of the sources.
Mondevergine was constantly arguing with Barbieto and Moore about Philadelphia Pagan activities. He wanted to be promoted. And he was also still upset that no action had been taken against gunmen who shot him nine times on Aug. 31, 1999, sources said.
Despite these tensions, Mondevergine showed up - without his "colors" - at the Pagans' mandatory meeting attended by Mother Club veep Moore on Jan. 19-20 at America's Best Inn, on Penrose Avenue near Moyamensing.
"People were making a big fuss over him," said a law-enforcement source. Mondevergine was observed talking with Pagans Daniel "Biggin" Boyce and John "Egyptian" Kachabalian.
"He's the comeback kid," said a biker source at the time.
"If they were so upset with him, there were enough people there - hundreds - to kick his ass and throw him out and take his colors," said another law-enforcement source. "He does have a heart problem, and he may not be able to get into a fight."
The last time law-enforcement sources saw Mondevergine in his "colors" was during the November 2006 toy run when bikers take Christmas presents to Children's Hospital. Later that month, Mondevergine led a pack of Pagans to the funeral of Derek Hale, of Manassas, Va., according to a biker source.
A recent federal civil lawsuit filed by Hale's family claimed the Pagan and ex-Marine sergeant, who served two tours in Iraq, was killed by Wilmington police and Delaware State Police.
Last Thursday after the shooting incident, police seized Flood's newly purchased truck and that of his companion, but found no evidence inside. The trucks were returned the next day, said police.
While doctors stitched Flood's back and treated his wound in the emergency room at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, about 25 Pagans showed up at the hospital, including the Mother Club veep, from West Virginia.
Investigators also noted that some South Philly Pagans did not show up at the hospital, raising questions of whether they were aligned with another faction.
"Was [Moore] in town to mediate or settle a dispute?" asked an investigator. "Usually national Pagan leaders show up on Fridays and Saturdays for meetings or parties, and he's here in the middle of the week."
After the Jan. 19 meeting, Moore later met with Pagans and Tribe members in Margate, said another law-enforcement source. *
mobbed up - February 7, 2008 02:12 PM (GMT)
Pagans boss wounded in the leg in NE drive-by shooting
By KITTY CAPARELLA
Philadelphia Daily News
The president of the Pagan Motorcycle Club's Philadelphia chapter was shot in the left leg in a drive-by shooting in the parking lot of a Northeast bar on Wednesday night.
Capt. Charles Bloom, of the police criminal intelligence unit, said that at Timothy "Casual" Flood, 41, told police that about 8 or 9 p.m., he was crossing the parking lot of Flukes Irish Pub, on State Road near Bleigh Avenue, when a car "came out of nowhere," and a gunman fired at him.
Flood told police he could not identify the gunman or describe the car.
An unidentified Pagan drove Flood to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where he was treated for a wound of the left leg and a laceration of the back which required stitches, said Bloom.
Flood and his driver gave conflicting accounts of the incident, he added.
Within 20 minutes of Flood's arrival at the hospital, the waiting room was filled with Pagans, police said. *
mobbed up - February 7, 2008 02:15 PM (GMT)
John Bowers, a biker who loved kids
By KITTY CAPARELLA
Philadelphia Daily News
JOHN T. "Maverick" Bowers, a member of the Pagan Outlaw Motorcycle Club who was devoted to sick children, will have a viewing tonight at Anton Urban Funeral Home in Ambler.
Bowers, 60, of Oreland, Montgomery County, was riding side-by-side with another Pagan on their Harley Davidsons past the the Blackhorse Tavern near Norristown Friday night when they collided with a car. Bowers' fellow cyclist and the other motorist remain hospitalized, police said.
Dozens of Pagan bikers are expected from California, Florida and other states to attend the funeral services.
Bowers, a member of the Pagan's Montgomery County chapter for more than 30 years, was "widely respected" in biker circles for his charitable work with children, according to his son, Matthew Bowers, 30, also a biker.
He was affiliated with Bikers against Child Abuse, helped to organize Toys for Tots motorcycle runs in Montgomery County and held numerous 50-50 fundraisers, especially for children with cancer.
"Every year, he'd let his hair grow long, then he'd cut it and take it over to 'Locks of Love.' They'd make wigs for children who had cancer," said his son.
"Everyone he knew would do the same thing," he added. "The last time he did it was in June."
Matthew Bowers described his father as "very warm and friendly who touched a lot of people."
Photos of him with his wife, Cynthia, are posted on patriotsmcpa. com, a Web site for a motorcycle club in Lansdale, where viewers can post comments for his memorial.
Born in Philadelphia, Bowers was raised in Springfield Township, Montgomery County, where he graduated from Springfield High School in 1965.
Two years later, he married the former Cynthia Campbell, also a motorcycle enthusiast. Bowers had been riding motorcycles since he was 17 and didn't own a car.
But when the couple began to raise a family of five children, they bought a house in Oreland, and dropped out of biker activities.
Matthew said that as a 5-year-old he was stricken with Guillain-Barre syndrome, in which the body's immune system attacks the neuromuscular system causing paralysis. Doctors warned that he may never walk again.
At Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for 15 months, Matthew said, his father never left his side. He quit his job and stayed in a bed next to him.
"He never flinched an eye. He was a strong-minded guy, a tough guy," he said. "I was supposed to die."
With medical treatment, eventually, the infection wore off, said Matthew, and he entered physical therapy to learn to walk again.
After the near-death scare of his son, Bowers began his charitable activities.
"He just had a thing for kids. He really feels for these people. He's always the first one there, and he brought a lot of people with him.
"This had nothing to do with who he was riding with," said Matthew. "They just respected him."
Bowers spent his career as a truck driver for construction companies, most recently for Danella Construction Corp. for nearly 10 years. Bowers also owned J.T. Embroidery, a T-shirt business, for several years in Oreland.
Beside his wife and Matthew, Bowers is survived by four other children, John P. Bowers, Kelly Wilsbach, Linda Bowers and Jennifer Hamilton; and five grandchildren.
After the burial, Pagan members will "backfill" by hand the grave in St. John Neumann Cemetery in Chalfont, filling it with soil and Pagan memorabilia, said Matthew Bowers.
The viewing will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at Urban Funeral Home, 1111 S. Bethlehem Pike, Ambler.
A second viewing will be from 9 to 10:45 a.m. tomorrow followed by an 11 a.m. Funeral Mass at Holy Martyrs Catholic Church, 121 Alllison Road, Oreland. *
mobbed up - February 7, 2008 02:34 PM (GMT)
Pagans Take Philly?
Investigators say the biker gang is driving their Hells Angels rivals out of town.
by Brendan McGarvey
Are the Hells Angels leaving town with their motorcycles between their legs? Have the Pagan cycle psychos actually terrified the world's biggest and baddest biker gang into making a "strategic retreat" from Philadelphia?
Law enforcement sources say yes, noting that the Hells Angels may be considering a temporary evacuation of their club headquarters in West Philadelphia and the suspension of any activity in the Delaware Valley.
On New Year's Eve, a Hells Angel was beaten in a South Jersey bar, allegedly by members of the Pagan chopper gang. Two weeks later, Thomas Wood, vice president of the Philly chapter of the Angels, was gunned down in South Philly, reputedly by a Pagan. Now, Hells Angels in New York are said to be furious that the Philly branch of the notorious biker gang has yet to respond to either provocation.
Says one biker associate, "New York thinks their guys in Philly can't get it together. It's embarrassing to them."
"They don't have the numbers in Philadelphia right now," one organized crime investigator tells City Paper. "It appears that the Hells Angels may have overreached here. Sources tells us they're thinking of getting out of town until they build up enough members to step [to] the Pagans."
A Pagan associate says that "after Wood was shot, those guys said, "Hey, this is serious. We could get killed doing this.' So they backed off. They don't have the balls. This is Pagan country."
If the news is surprising, it's because several high-ranking Pagans switched their allegiance to the Hells Angels back in 1999, with more following in their tracks. (Remember, this is still Pagan territory since their rivals have fewer members living in the area.) One defector, Anthony "Mengie" Mengione was said to be the power behind the current Pagan president, Steven "Gorilla" Mondevergine, before deciding to join the Angels. His house is only three blocks from the Angels clubhouse on Merion Avenue in West Philadelphia. Law enforcement sources claim Mengie was the Philly Hells Angels chapter president before he went back to federal prison on a parole violation last year.
"This isn't the first time the Hells Angels have been shut down," one Pagan associate points out, referring to the ongoing feud in Canada between the Hells Angels and a much smaller but just as vicious biker gang known as the Rock Machine. (Canada has more Hells Angels per capita than any other country in the world but has been involved in a violent, long-running gangland war in Quebec. More than 150 people have died so far in the turf battle over drugs, prostitution and other underworld rackets. In order to continue their battle against the Angels, the Rock Machine has allied itself with the Bandidos, a U.S. biker gang based in Texas.)
While the Pagan/Hells Angels war continues in Philly, mirroring the small-gang/big-gang battles up north, some local bikers are bragging that the Warlocks, the Delaware Valley's third outlaw biker gang, is steadily increasing its illegal activities, concentrating on making money while the other gangs fight it out.
"Check out the Warlocks," one law enforcement investigator says. "Everybody else is shooting, but they're busy making money selling drugs. They're allied with the Pagans in a lot of deals, but they're not getting between the middle of this shootout."
Reputed mob associate Salvatore "Sonny" Mazzone has a court date in May to face charges stemming from a Mike Tyson-esque aggravated assault.
On the morning of Feb. 7 at 11th and Mc-Kean streets in South Philadelphia, where a street had been blocked off to celebrate the Super Bowl, a motorist impatiently honked to get through the blockade. Police say Mazzone responded by attacking the man and biting off part of his nose.
Sonny is the brother of Stevie Mazzone, a high-ranking member of the mob and good pal of imprisoned mob boss Joey Merlino. Along with Skinny Joey, Stevie Mazzone was convicted of racketeering charges four years ago. He's serving time down South at the Federal Correctional Institution in Estill, S.C.
Reputed La Cosa Nostra boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi has finally moved into his new digs at 17th and Forestall streets in South Philly. He spent a year renovating it and moved his family in last week.
Police point out that in addition to the new house, Ligambi is driving a new Cadillac.
"He doesn't have a job that we know of," says one organized-crime investigator. "He doesn't seem to have any way to explain his income or how he is legitimately paying for all of this."
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