Camden sets wheels in motion to shutter motorcycle club
Camco cops say gang's hangout has long been magnet for crime
A better-built mousetrap.
That’s the result hoped for by Camden County Police Chief Scott Thomson after what he called a decades-long “cat-and-mouse game” with the Wheels of Soul motorcycle club.
Camden officials Wednesday closed the gang’s clubhouse on Princess Avenue, citing code violations. They also bulldozed a garage they said the club illegally built on neighboring city property.
The push came after a woman allegedly was sexually assaulted at gunpoint inside the clubhouse early on March 27.
Antoywayn Lindsey, a 34-year-old city resident who served time for a 1997 homicide, faces numerous charges in the alleged attack, including three counts of aggravated sexual assault.
Authorities said he was armed with two loaded handguns when he was arrested at the clubhouse last week. And once inside, police spotted more than Lindsey’s guns.
“While we were in there, we noticed some pretty significant structural deficiencies,” Thomson said. The chief said a series of code violations included illegal electrical wiring.
“The building itself is pretty deplorable inside. ... I’m sure at some point in time this will be subject to being razed as well,” he added.
Thomson also pointed out a makeshift security camera system that “conveniently never contains any videotape for our review whenever criminal activity occurs.”
A PSE&G worker removed some of the cameras from a nearby utility pole.
Several members of the club stood in the drizzle and watched as the garage was demolished. They grumbled and cursed about the city’s actions but declined to be interviewed.
Thomson noted the club has a history of criminal activity and violence.
In 1979, 19 people were injured when fights between members of the Wheels of Soul and a rival motorcycle gang escalated into a shootout at a Woodrow Wilson-Camden football game.
In 2007, Paul Mealey III, 35, was shot dead after a fight at the clubhouse spilled outside.
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