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YOUNGSTOWN 7 local Pagans face charges in N.Y. state brawl



Published: Tue, March 19, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The charges follow an attack on Hell's Angels..

By MARALINE KUBIK

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Seven area men, members of the Pagans motorcycle club, were arraigned in New York recently after an attack on rival motorcyclists.

They are:

URichard J. Mahaffey, 54, of Wiseman Street, Youngstown.

UDwayne A. Whitfield, 44, and John S. Cooper, 35, both of King Avenue, Poland.

UJames R. Namish, 38, of North Lakeview Avenue, Youngstown.

URichard A. Burkhart, 50, of North Palmyra Road, Canfield.

UJohn J. Hapcic, 57, of Warren Road, Hubbard.

UTed R. Hassey, 48, of North Lakeview, Youngstown.

The charges: They, along with several other Pagans members, are charged with assault, conspiracy to commit assault, using and carrying firearms and carrying explosives.

The charges follow an attack on members of the Hell's Angels, a rival outlaw gang, outside a catering hall.

They were arraigned March 12 in U.S. District Court, Islip, N.Y., in connection with the Feb. 23 attack during a Hell Raisers Ball in Plainview, N.Y.

One Pagan, 51-year-old Robert Rutherford of Lancaster, Pa., was shot to death in the brawl; 10 others were injured.

A 38-year-old Oceanside, N.Y., man is charged with second-degree murder in connection with Rutherford's death.

Indictment: According to the indictment, the Pagans "knowingly and intentionally conspired to assault members of the Hell's Angels, Demon Knights, East Legion and Wicked Wheelers with dangerous weapons."

Among the weapons listed are shotguns, handguns, stun guns, switchblades, gravity knives, daggers, double-bladed axes, metal knuckles, chains and clubs.

Other counts allege the Pagans "intentionally assaulted" members of the rival gangs, "intentionally used and carried firearms," and "intentionally carried explosives."

According to police in Nassau County, N.Y., officers from multiple precincts and bureaus of special operations, along with 20 New York State Troopers and 50 Suffolk County police officers, responded to the disturbance just after 4 p.m. Feb. 23.

Thirty motorcycle gang members were arrested.

U.S. Attorney Leonard Lato said all of those charged are being held without bond.

About clubs: The Pagans motorcycle club originated in Maryland in 1959 and maintains chapters in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, New York, New Jersey and Delaware.

It is governed by a "mother club" consisting of national officers and senior members, including Mahaffey, also known as "Fat Cat."

The Hell's Angels, the oldest and largest motorcycle club in the world, maintains chapters in 11 states, including four chapters in New York.

kubik@vindy.com




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