International members of the Hell’s Angels motorbike gang are currently gathering in the town of Šamorín, Trnava Region, which is about 30 kilometres from Bratislava. The motorcyclists' club, which has chapters worldwide, has been associated with criminal activities including violence, drug running and gun trading, the American Embassy in Slovakia warns.
Every year the Hell's Angels organise a World Run event that gathers thousands of motorcyclists. This year, they chose Šamorín, where thousands of members have now assembled.
Slovakia, whose frontiers with other Schengen states are normally open to traffic without checks, has reinstituted border controls partly because of the presence of international members of the Hell’s Angels. The measures, described as a "safety arrangement" will last during the expected duration of the gathering, until June 4.
The event is organised by the WR23 civic association linked to Matej Búlik. He was part of a group that attacked student Daniel Tupý in 2005, a police investigation shows. Tupý died soon after the attack. Búlik, who is facing no charges in the Tupý case, was also a member of the Juden Mord (Murder of Jews) music band, the Sme daily writes.
Búlik is the president of the Bratislava branch of Hell's Angels MC Slovakia, too.
In Slovakia, numerous Hell’s Angels members are staying at the Hotel Tatra in Bratislava, Hotel Falkensteiner in Bratislava, and at the Hotel Kormorán in Šamorín.
Police say they are ready
The police commented that they have prepared for the Hell’s Angels club meeting in advance. The local police forces have strengthened patrols and increased the number of police officers on duty. No public disturbance of the peace has been recorded yet, according to Police Force spokesperson Denisa Bárdyová, in comments to the Sme daily.
Advice by the US Embassy
The American Embassy also listed several pieces of advice to stay safe, in addition to avoiding the venues where these members may be spotted:
- Do not take pictures of members, talk to them or engage in any way,
- Exercise caution if you happen to be near the venues visited by Hell's Angels,
- Contact police officials if you feel endangered, or the embassy if you are an American citizen.
Earlier on, the American Embassy has published a security alert about the Hell’s Angels gathering. It notes that the United States government has designated the club an "outlaw motorcycle gang", foreign members of which are barred from entering the USA. Past World Run meetings have been marred by violence, according to the embassy, which notes that a Greek national died after being beaten by Hell's Angels attending a World Run event in Greece in 2015.
The embassy also said that Saloon HDB, Golden Life Nightclub, and Royal Nightclub may be the bars where members of the gang may turn up during the weekend.
How to spot members
Hell's Angels typically ride Harley-Davidson or similar cruiser-style motorcycles.
Not all wear clothes indicating their ties to the club, but most do wear patches on their clothing or bike that represent the logo of their club, most commonly a “Death's Head” image (depicting a winged skull).
Members typically wear heavy leather jackets.
Police investigate incident
According to TV Markíza, the police are investigating an incident that occurred between members of the club and two Slovaks on Saturday morning outside a pub on the Župné Námestie square in Bratislava.
An ambulance had to take one man to the hospital.
The police detained two Danish citizens and one German. No one has been charged.