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President of RI Hells Angels held without bail pending hearing

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The man police say is the head of the Rhode Island chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle club was held without bail pending a hearing scheduled for Tuesday, following an altercation at a Providence nightclub.

Joseph Lancia, 28, of Smithfield was arrested Saturday night at the Cadillac Lounge strip club after Providence Police officers responded to “a disturbance inside the nightclub near the bar area.”

Inside the nightclub, police said they witnessed members of the Hells Angels arguing with security and club managers.

Although members of the motorcycle club agreed to leave the club without incident, police said they then witnessed Lancia punch a man in the face.

The 43-year-old man “fell straight to the ground, struck the back of his head on the pavement and appeared to become unconscious,” according to the report.

Lancia was immediately taken into custody by police and later charged with two misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct and simple assault.

The man regained consciousness at the scene and was taken to Rhode Island Hospital for evaluation.

At Monday’s hearing, prosecutors offered Lancia a 75 day prison sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. But Lancia’s attorney Joseph Voccola entered a plea of not guilty, and requested his client be released on $2,000 surety bail.

Prosecutors asked Lancia to remain in custody arguing he is a bail violator because he was out pending trial in a separate case.

Superior Court Magistrate Patrick Burke scheduled a bail hearing for Tuesday after recusing himself. Craig Berke, a court spokesperson, said Burke removed himself from the case because “there is a school connection between the magistrate’s children and the defendant’s wife.” Lancia’s case will instead be heard by Magistrate Richard Raspallo.

Last July, Lancia was indicted and taken into custody by R.I. State Police after he allegedly fired a gun at a truck as the driver was passing by the Hell’s Angels’ headquarters on Messer Street.

Lancia was charged with assault with the intent to commit murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, discharging a firearm while committing a crime of violence, and carrying a pistol without a permit.

At the time, Lancia was released on $100,000 surety bail.

After the hearing, Voccola said the altercation at the Cadillac Lounge was unfortunate and “blown out of proportion.”

“What I understand is it was just a disagreement where the person who he’s accused of assaulting made it clear to police he didn’t even want to press charges,” Voccola said. “We look forward to resolving it and in a quick manner.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Providence

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