35,000 motorcyclists expected in Reno; cops ready :: Washington Confederation of Clubs :: Wear your Patch with Pride

Nevada – RENO -With as many as 35,000 motorcycle enthusiasts expected in Reno this weekend, area law enforcement agencies have been receiving calls of concern about the potential for problems in the wake of recent violence in the Bay Area between rival gangs. Law officers say they are prepared if anything happens but they aren’t expecting any violence at the Street Vibrations celebration that also extends to Sparks, Carson City, Virginia City and Lake Tahoe through Sunday. “We don’t have any reason to believe this isn’t going to be a safe event,” Washoe County Sheriff’s Lt. Tim Kuzanek told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “If there is (a problem), we are certainly prepared to deal with it. We have planned for and are prepared for anything that would come up.” The calls of concern stem from recent events in Northern California, which started with the shooting death of San Francisco Hells Angels leader Mark “Papa” Guardado on Sept. 2. Days later, a series of pipe bomb explosions took place outside the San Jose, Calif., home of Mongols member Robert Rios. The Hells Angels and Mongols are longtime rivals with feuds dating back more than 30 years. “Law enforcement (agencies) throughout the region are aware of the situation and are working together to help provide a safe and enjoyable event,” Reno police spokesman Steve Frady said. Kuzanek said coverage of the Bay Area incidents have sparked most of the calls to local law enforcement agencies with people asking if it will be safe to attend. Kuzanek said officials from the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, Reno Police Department, Sparks Police Department, Nevada High Patrol, Storey County Sheriff’s Office and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office all work in cooperation and an action plan is in place to respond to any sort of emergency. Storey County Sheriff Jim Miller said he has heard rumors about potential violence and his department is taking them seriously. “We hear all the same rumors,” he said. “We have to be prudent, and we have to be diligent, and we have to prepare for that potential. We are going to be highly visible. We want people to come up and have fun and enjoy Virginia City, and we’re going to be staffed for safety for the people of this community and the people who come up to visit.” Kuzanek said with Street Vibrations, the opening of the Scheels sporting goods store in Sparks and a marathon at Lake Tahoe this weekend, the region’s roads will be crowded. “What we have done is plan for, in the event something of any size occurs such as a traffic accident which results in a major congestion problem, (is) that the patrol commander would have the ability to reach out to Washoe County or Reno PD or other agencies and ask for assistance,” Kuzanek said. “The key is to minimize the impact on the public.”

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