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President of R.I. chapter of Hells Angels arrested on felony assault charge


Members of the Hells Angels gang ride their motorcycles. The president of the Rhode Island chapter was arrested Wednesday. (Getty Images / Getty Images)

The president of Rhode Island’s chapter of Hells Angels was arrested Wednesday on a felony assault charge, police said.

Joseph M. Lancia, 28, was taken into custody around 1:40 p.m. at the motorcycle gang’s clubhouse in Providence, according to a press release from the Rhode Island State Police.

Lancia was arrested “as part of an investigation into reports of shots being fired in the vicinity” of the clubhouse, state police said. Members of the Rhode Island State Police Intelligence Unit and the Violent Fugitive Task Force also conducted a search of the establishment.

A spokeswoman for the department said they were not releasing additional information at this time.

Lancia was taken to State Police Headquarters. His arraignment is scheduled for Thursday at the Sixth Division District Court in Providence.

Hells Angels currently has 466 chapters across five continents, according to its website.

Earlier this May, the club was banned entirely from the Netherlands because of its culture of violence, according to the BBC. The court in the city of Utrecht said that “the violence is often so serious and causes so much social unrest that it can be considered in contravention of social order.”

Founded in California in 1948, its members are known for favoring Harley-Davidson bikes and wearing denim and leather.