Hells Angels Returning to Missoula

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA – A Missoula police official says the Hells Angels motorcycle club will return to the Missoula area this summer.

Assistant Police Chief Mark Muir says the club plans to be in the area from July 31st until August 3rd and will stay at the Marshall Mountain Ski Area.

Muir said Thursday the department plans to hold a meeting in March to take comments from the community. He said Missoula police will be assisted by other law enforcement agencies while the Hells Angels are in town.

The motorcycle group with an outlaw image last visited Missoula in July 2000 and police were ready to keep the peace, but some Missoula residents said the police presence was too strong.

An angry crowd of protesters blocked traffic downtown and police in riot gear used pepper spray. Several dozen people — none members of the Hells Angels — were arrested for disorderly conduct and other offenses.

A citizen panel that reviewed police behavior gave police high marks overall for their handling of the club’s gathering, but said the city had to endure “something uncomfortably close to a week of martial law.”