New Gander bikers brawl with cops
The opening of a new biker clubhouse in Gander last Friday has already led to a fight with some off-duty RCMP officers, and concerns among the public.
The Outlaws Motorcycle Club opened the new chapter house in a strip mall that houses multiple bars, and nearby business owners have already complained to the RCMP.
Gander resident Edward Skiffington said he doesn't have an issue with the new clubhouse, but understands why others may be apprehensive about it.
"In a way, I think it's a good thing because it might keep a lot of people straight around here. But then, for a lot of people, it's a worry for their kids, this and that, but I don't see no big deal with it," Skiffington said.
"It's just a bunch of people on bikes enjoying themselves. Something to pass their time away."
Fred Small agreed with those sentiments, and said there has been some positive community payback from the biker club already.
"As long as they don't bother anybody, I got no problem with that. As long as they're pretty good guys," he said.
"Some of them, what happened down in Musgrave Harbour last week — they did a collection and gave it to some needy charity there, so I think [there's] no problem with them."
A member of the Outlaws said the group isn't in town to cause trouble.
But RCMP are investigating an incident at a bar in Gander last weekend where members of the biker club got into a fight with off-duty officers. An auxiliary officer was allegedly hit in the head with a beer bottle and knocked unconscious.
Police are not commenting on the incident, which is under investigation.
Gander Mayor Claude Elliott said for those who aren't pleased with the club, there's not a lot that can be done.
"Well, you've got concerns about anything in the community, but there's certain things that's out of our control," he said.
"And any activities that's happening in the community, that's a policing matter and that's for the RCMP to look after."