Members of the Hells Angels outlaw biker gang have rented Langley Township facilities multiple times in recent years, each time using different names and claiming different types of events, according to internal emails and documents from the Township.
However, documents obtained through a Freedom of Information request, show that while staff found the group frustrating to deal with, until recently they would have allowed them back to the George Preston Recreation Centre – provided they stop violating the rental agreements.
“They book once a year,” one Township staffer wrote in an email after the April party had come to light.
“They always book with a new person and every year we do this dance. We tell them that the activities that [sic] had are not consistent with the Township of Langley and that there [sic] group is welcome to book again but cannot conduct themselves in this manner. The next year they get a different person to book and claim it to be a different type of event like a men’s soccer team windup etc. They previously booked with Rec Ex and what we hear is they basically just let them do whatever they want,” the staffer wrote.
It is unclear exactly how many times Hells Angels have booked facilities in the Township, or when they started holding events at the George Preston Recreation Centre.
In another follow-up email, a staffer looked into the initial rental and confirmed that Township staff had talked to the renters about the company background, had clarified what type of alcohol was to be served, and told the renter that “appropriate conduct in a community facility strictly enforced” was part of the contract.
“Nothing in my conversations with [name redacted] raised a red flag for me,” the staffer wrote.
The April 6, 2019 event was described to Township staff as a “fundraiser retirement party” with up to 175 people coming. Under “crowd profile,” the person booking the event simply wrote “old guys.”
Another email noted that there was no investigation into the incident after the fact, but the person who rented the facility was flagged in the Township’s system – if they tried to rent a facility again, staff were to contact a senior manager.
A senior staffer noted that the presence of about eight exotic dancers at the April 6 event violated the liquor licence under which the party was run.
“Neither the GPC [George Preston Centre] nor the individual hold a licence for an exotic dancer type establishment, which means no one can operate in such a manner.”
The same email also shows that no senior managers were alerted to issues while the April party was underway.
“From my understanding, staff did not shut them down, and actually only learned of the exotic dancers much later in the night when going into the bathroom to look at a mechanical issue,” the email says. “Unfortunately, no managers were notified and it was only brought to a supervisor’s attention the following Monday.”
Township staff tried to follow up with the person who booked the party, but couldn’t reach them.
“A similar incident happened in 2016, where an individual booked a wrap-up party for [redacted] soccer team, and some HA [Hells Angels] members apparently attended. A similar sequence of events happened, and the individual can no longer book at TOL facilities.”
The email noted that sometimes people booking Township facilities misrepresent who they are or what their group is doing. It was noted that staff do not stand in the room monitoring every event.
“In an ideal situation, staff would talk to the organizer, and/or shut down such an event, and if uncomfortable, would call a manager, and or the police if called for,” the email says. “Unfortunately, none of this happened in this instance and it has been reviewed with the staff about notifying managers more quickly if something like this were to happen again.”
In September, Township council approved a new facilities rental policy.
The policy mentions that renters who violate the contract may be refused entry or refused any future rentals.
It does not specifically mention gangs or the Hells Angels, but Mayor Jack Froese said under the new safety provisions, people wearing gang colours can be removed.
The safety section of the policy says a rental can be cancelled before or during an event “if such rental could lead to a protest or similar civil disruption resulting in safety or security concerns for attendees or Township staff.”
Froese noted that some Hells Angels wearing their colours turned up to a recent RibFest fundraising event in Langley Township and were asked to leave, and did so.
A known criminal organization would be denied rental, Froese said.
However, Froese noted that an individual Hells Angels member, not wearing his colours, who attended an event such as a birthday party would have to be treated the same as any other member of the public.
Langley is home to a Hells Angels clubhouse, for the White Rock chapter. Although the group represents itself as a motorcycle club, police consider the Hells Angels a criminal organization, which is linked to murders, drug dealing, and money laundering. There have been a few violent incidents linked to the gang in recent years.
On Oct. 24, 2016, the dismembered remains of Shaun Alan Clary, 27, were found along the side of Robertson Crescent in rural Langley.
Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) said that Clary’s death was thought to be linked to the killing on Oct. 16 of Robert Keith Green, a prominent Hells Angel who was shot by Jason Francis Wallace, at a Langley property. Wallace quickly turned himself in to police and later pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Clary had been present at the same property and was a friend of Wallace’s, according to media reports.
In 2019, two Hells Angels members have been murdered in the Lower Mainland. One was found dead near the Golden Ears Bridge on the Maple Ridge side of the river, and the other was shot and killed in broad daylight while waiting at a Starbucks drive-through in South Surrey.