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RI Hells Angels president arrested again

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The man police say is the head of the Rhode Island chapter of the Hells Angels is in trouble with the law again.

Joseph Lancia, 28, of Smithfield was arrested Saturday night after an altercation at the Cadillac Lounge strip club on Charles Street in Providence. 

Providence police officers were assigned to a detail at the club when security there alerted them about “a disturbance inside the nightclub near the bar area.”

“Police then observed multiple persons from the Hells Angels Motorcycle club arguing with nightclub security and club managers,” according to a police report.

Police saw the assistant manager of the club bleeding from the nose and mouth, who told them he was punched by an “unknown male member” of the motorcycle club. The manager told police he did not wish to press charges.

“Police spoke to members of the motorcycle club who agreed that they would all leave the club without any further incident,” the report states.

As police were escorting members of the Hells Angels out of the club, they witnessed Lancia punch another man in the face, he “fell straight to the ground, struck the back of his head on the pavement and appeared to become unconscious.”

Police took Lancia into custody and other officers arrived to help break up the remaining members of the club that were in the parking lot.

The 43-year-old who police say was punched by Lancia regained consciousness at the scene and was transported to R.I. Hospital to evaluate for head injuries.

Lancia is being held in custody until his arraignment at Providence District Court, which is expected Monday.

The incident was first reported by the Providence Journal.

His arrest may complicate a separate case that is already working its way toward trial. Lancia was indicted in July after police say he fired a gun at a truck passing by the biker club’s Messer Street headquarters last year.

He 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.

Lancia was released on $100,000 surety bail from that case, but a judge will likely review his freedom after Saturday’s arrest.

Jim Lyons, who works for Lancia’s attorney Joseph Voccola, said they are going to ask the judge to keep their client out on bail, arguing the key witness against the biker gang president was afforded the same decision even though, Lyons said, the witness has a spotty criminal record.

Tim White ( is the Target 12 managing editor and chief investigative reporter at 12 News, and the host of Newsmakers. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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