Southeastern PA

Police: Rival motorcycle gangs clash; two pummeled with clubs, ax handles

Fight ensued after picnic was crashed, police said

Two hurt in biker brawl

LIMERICK TWP., Pa. - One Montgomery County neighborhood is on edge after a violent brawl broke out between rival motorcycle gangs. 

Both groups have long criminal pasts and neighbors say they fear retaliation.

The melee happened Saturday afternoon at the Ridge View Terrace mobile home park on West Ridge Pike, an area neighbors said is usually quiet.

"There were graduation parties going on and baby showers going on and birthday parties," said one neighbor who would only give her first name, Vicki.

The park was the site of a picnic for the Wheels of Soul, a Philadelphia-based motorcycle club with a long criminal past.  The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that at least 22 reported members have been indicted since 2011.

 According to Limerick Township police, the rival Pagan biker gang showed up and the melee began. 

Two gunshots were fired, but no one was struck, police said.  Two men did go to the hospital after being struck in the head.  One was reportedly hit with an ax handle.

 "It's heartbreaking to have somebody come fight like that in front of anybody," said neighbor Gary Collins.

 Both motorcycle groups have long and violent pasts. 

A Wheels of Soul member in Chicago was recently convicted of murdering several people.  Closer to home, a woman claimed she was raped at a Wheels of Soul clubhouse in Camden, N.J., in March. 

Days later, city crews there demolished the clubhouse for code violations.

 Ridge View residents said motorcycle gangs have never been an issue there before.

"They were never a problem before," said resident Dave Duncan.  "They'd better never have a party like that [again]."

Many neighbors would not comment or even give their names, saying they feared retailiation.  The ones who did said they were afraid the groups would return.

"It's horrible to know that there's people out there like that, but the world's full of hatred, and it's a shame," Collins said.

Bruce Ashton rides a Harley and said violence like this gives all bikers a bad name.

"Most of the guys that I know and I ride with, they're all good guys," he said.  "Nothing wrong with them."

For now, police haven't charged anyone yet, although they said witnesses are cooperating.  That's little comfort to a neighborhood living in fear of what could happen next.


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