Pagans biker sped away from Newark cops after firing gun, police say

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A North Bergen man wearing Pagans Motorcycle Club clothing was arrested in Newark early Wednesday after he was spotted firing a gun, police said.

Larry M. Ortiz, 28, also tried to escape police by speeding away from officers on his motorcycle, but eventually crashed in Elizabeth, Newark police said in a statement.

Newark police responded to the 100 block of Sherman Avenue around 12:30 a.m. after officers were alerted by the city's gunshot detector system, Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said.

Officers saw a man on a motorcycle drive away from the scene, and witnesses told the officers that a man on a motorcycle fired a gun on Miller and Vanderpool streets, which run parallel, police said.

No injuries were reported to police.

Officers then located a man on Frelinghuysen Avenue and Empire Street who fit a description given to them. Police said the man ignored the officers' demands to pull over.

Instead, police say, he sped away.

He was later found lying on the street at North Broad Street and Newark Avenue in Elizabeth, and identified as Ortiz. He was arrested and taken to the hospital. As of Wednesday afternoon, he was in stable condition.

Pagan Motorcycle Club has strong N.J. presence

Ortiz was charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and eluding. He was also given additional summonses for several traffic violations.

NJ Advance Media reported in May that the Pagans, which have a heavy presence in South Jersey, were looking to expand into northern New Jersey.

After an Edison man was charged with brutally beating a Hells Angels associate near a clubhouse in Newark, the New Jersey State Police sent an unclassified memo to law enforcement warning of the Pagans intentions of expanding their territory "violently if necessary."

The memo, obtained by NJ Advance Media, said the Pagans are beefing up membership on the entire East Coast by absorbing other outlaw motorcycle gangs.

Along with South Jersey and the Jersey Shore, the Pagans are also known to congregate in Elizabeth. 

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Alex Napoliello
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