Hells Angels roll into Clemson

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CLEMSON, S.C. (WSPA) – The streets of Clemson may sound a little louder this week.

Tuesday marks day two of a 3-day summer rally for the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.

Roughly 500 members are expected to be in town for meetings, events, and exploring the scenic routes that attract bikers to the Clemson area.

Their presence has also attracted the attention of law enforcement.

Some officers are situated with their cameras near the hotels along Tiger Blvd. where the bikers are staying through Wednesday.

Despite the U.S. Justice Department classifying the Hells Angels as an “outlaw motorcycle gang” known for “criminal activity,” some small business owners are welcoming the bikers and their dollars.

Destiny Cruell works at the local head shop “Purple Haze” directly next to the parking lots where the bikers are gathering this week.

“I guess old reputations of how they used to be. I haven’t heard anything about them in the last couple years,” said Cruell.

Tourism officials with Visit Clemson” said the bikers will pump over $1 million dollars into the local economy.

A charity softball game is set for Wednesday.

The Hells Angels will raise money for a local battered women’s shelter.

In the days leading up to the rally, Clemson Police Chief Jimmy Dixon told 7News residents have nothing to worry about.

“Even though it’s Hells Angels, it’s nothing more than having family scattered all across the US and once a year they pick a location and have a big family reunion,” said Dixon.

The biker gang picked Clemson back in November for their annual summer run rally.

“I can assure you, they are not coming in here for the sole purpose of causing trouble,” Dixon said.

The group will fill the downtown businesses for meetings and gatherings.

With a big event does come increased law enforcement, so expect to see local, state and federal officers filling the streets of Clemson.

Other cities that have hosted the summer rally said the event was peaceful.

“These 500 or 600 people will not cause any more trouble as the 100-150,000 people do seven times out of the year for home games,” Dixon said.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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