Alaskan arrested during Hells Angels gathering in Missouri

Posted: Monday, July 30, 2001

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) -- An unidentified Alaska man was one of three bikers arrested during a visit of the Hells Angels to this Ozarks Mountain tourist town.

The Alaska man was arrested on a charge of unlawful use of a weapon after police discovered he had a knife hidden on him. He was released on $5,000 bond.

Two Massachusetts men were arrested on an assault charge after being involved in a bar fight early Saturday. They were released after posting $1,500 bond each.

Police reports on the three were being forwarded to the Taney County prosecutor for formal filing of charges.

Branson Assistant Police Chief Caroll McCullough said Monday that officers also wrote a handful of tickets for minor traffic violations, such as speeding and driving on the shoulder of the road.

About 400 members of the biker group arrived here Wednesday for their national gathering -- the 2001 Annual Run. They had all left by Sunday afternoon.

Branson police were criticized by some residents and business owners for calling in 80 Missouri Highway Patrol troopers to help keep an eye on the bikers during their visit to a town that has hung its reputation on wholesome entertainment and family values.

McCullough said he had no regrets.

''Everything went well, and I believe it's because of the increased law enforcement presence,'' McCullough said.

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