, Salem, MA

March 14, 2013

Bikers held on bail in attack

Danvers man among four arrested on kidnapping, extortion charges

From staff reports
The Salem News

---- — Four alleged members of the Hells Angels and Red Devils motorcycle clubs were arrested yesterday by the state police gang unit, accused of smashing a disgraced Red Devils member’s hand with a hammer during a ritualistic ceremony last October inside the Red Devils’ Byfield “church.”

Brian T. Weymouth, 40, of 20 Jacobs Ave., Danvers; Sean R. Burr, 48, of 19 Fayette St., Lynn; Marc T. Eliason, 35, of 74 Robinson St., Lynn; and Nicholas Avelis, 54, of 44 Grapevine Road, Gloucester; were arraigned yesterday in Newburyport District Court on charges of kidnapping, mayhem and extortion by threat of injury.

Judge Allen Swan ordered all four held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for Wednesday. A dangerousness hearing is ordered to determine whether granting a defendant bail may pose a risk to the victim or society in general.

The arrests took place a day after police issued warrants based on statements made by the Revere victim and his family regarding incidents that began on Sept. 22, 2012, and culminated Monday when the men allegedly threatened to kill the victim, rape his girlfriend and harm her children, according to state police.

A state police report, included in court documents, show a culture of gang violence and retribution that began innocently enough back in September when the victim, a former member of the Red Devils, attended a Sweet 16 birthday party for his girlfriend’s daughter at the Revere Lodge of Elks in Revere. At that party, attended by several Red Devils members, a former Hells Angels member who had been “put out bad” by the notorious group, was spotted by the victim, according to police. Per Red Devils Motorcycle Club rules, every member who attended the party was supposed to beat up the disgraced Hells Angel member on sight.

When the victim let the Hells Angel member leave the party without being roughed up, it caught the attention of other Red Devil members and the Hells Angels, according to police. Both groups allegedly accused the victim and other Red Devils members of violating club rules. One of the suspects, Barr, a reported member of the Hells Angels, then told the victim that he and the other members of the gang who had attended the party had a week to find the man and beat him up for attending the party, according to police.

On Thursday, Sept. 27, a Red Devils meeting was convened at the club’s “church” to discuss the breech of club rules and to administer punishment, according to the report. Club members allegedly stripped the victim of his gang credentials for a year and ordered him to surrender his gang patch, his belt buckle and his keys to the club. A day later, the victim was again approached by Barr, who worked with him at a Revere construction company, and ordered him to quit his job, which he did, according to police.

In mid-October, a rumor began circulating that the victim was talking to members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, a sworn enemy of both the Red Devils and Hells Angels, with the intention of joining them, according to police. Word filtered back to Red Devils leaders, who ordered the victim to return to the “church,” where he was to wait for Hells Angels members to speak to him, according to the report.

At that meeting, attended by the suspects, the victim was ordered to hand over the keys to his motorcycle, according to police. Fearful for his safety, the victim said he complied and was ordered not to reveal the theft to anyone. If he reported the theft, he would be harmed, according to the report.

Moments later, Eliason allegedly grabbed the victim by the throat and threw him to the ground. The victim said he lost consciousness. When he awoke, he was sitting in a chair against a wall and was allegedly asked by Barr, “hand or knee?” Barr, according to the report, had a ball-peen hammer in his hand, a heavy metalworking hammer used by gang members to inflict serious injury. Fearing for his life, the victim said he put out his right hand and placed it on a stool next to the chair. Barr then allegedly struck the victim’s hand twice with the hammer, causing extensive damage.

After the alleged assault, the victim was ordered to remain at the club for another 15 minutes to allow club members to leave, according to police. Afterward, the victim said he drove himself to the Square One Mall in Saugus, where his girlfriend was waiting to drive him to a nearby hospital. At the hospital, the victim said he told doctors that he had dropped an engine block on his hand.

In the months that followed the alleged attack, Barr repeatedly called the victim’s girlfriend or showed up at her home looking for the title to the victim’s motorcycle, according to police. The girlfriend was ordered to hand over the title, with a threat that things would get much worse for the victim if she didn’t comply, according to the report.

On Monday, Eliason visited the victim and threatened to break both of his legs, rape his girlfriend in front of him, harm his girlfriend’s children and then “finish him off,” if he didn’t hand over the title to the motorcycle, according to police.

A day later, arrest warrants were issued for the four suspects.

The Red Devils have been part of the Byfield community for at least two years, having opened their club inside the strip mall at 2 Fruit St., near Interstate 95, around fall 2010.

The Red Devils are well-represented regionally with chapters in Essex County/Cape Ann and Middlesex County, according to a Red Devils website. According to several websites, the Red Devils are known as a feeder or support group to the Hells Angels, arguably the most well-known outlaw motorcycle club in the country.

Newbury police Chief Michael Reilly yesterday said that since the club opened, there have been no police calls to that address. Reilly added it was not within his power to shut down the club, saying it was up to the landlords to decide whether the Red Devils are good tenants.

“They still have a right to assemble,” Reilly said.