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TN purchase blamed on councilman’s staffer

Bronx Times
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Residents are questioning how the sale and transfer of a Throggs Neck property to the Hells Angels came about without anybody knowing following last week’s shooting outside the clubhouse.

On Thursday, January 2, just before midnight, a caravan of motorcycles and cars rode past the newly acquired property at 241 Longstreet Avenue and emptied 14 gun rounds into the side of the building. Neighbors caught the incident on video surveillance cameras.

Following the incident, neighbors and community members are wondering if their worst fears about the biker gang’s presence in the neighborhood are now becoming a reality.

The 45th Precinct police reported that they observed bullet damage to the building’s brick exterior, but reported no injuries. No suspects have been identified and the investigation is ongoing.

According to sources, a rival gang, the Pagans, are suspected in launching the late night fusillade.

A similar situation occurred in Staten Island about six years ago whe the Pagans shoot at a Hells Angels clubhouse, wounding at least one individual.

According to the NYPD, there is now a foot post at the location and directed patrols are being conducted by Neighborhood Coordination Officers and patrol officers.

Residents have lashed out at Councilman Mark Gjonaj for the Hells Angels purchase of the property.

A part-time member of Gjonaj’s staff was the attorney on the sale. Residents believe the councilman should have thwarted the transaction if he had prior knowledge of the sale.

“Our office has been in constant contact with the local precinct regarding the recent incident,” Gjonaj’s office commented in a statement to the Bronx Times Reporter,

“The councilman and the owners of the property will likely meet soon to further discuss the matter as well as what can be done to ensure the safety and well-being of the community moving forward.”

The blame shifted towards Gjonaj because the legal counsel of the 13th Council District, Edmond ‘Ted’ J. Pryor, orchestrated the sale of the property to the Hells Angels.

Pryor resigned his position on Tuesday, January 7, stating he didn’t want his private practice interfering with the councilman’s work in the community.

“I will not allow my work as an attorney in private practice or what I do as a private citizen to be used as a weapon against you and all of the positive work that you have been doing to make our community a better to live in for all,” Pryor wrote to Gjonaj.

Gjonaj contends that he was not aware of Pryor’s private work.

A source informed the Bronx Times Reporter that a high-ranking member of the Hells Angels lives on City Island, one block away from Pryor’s legal practice.

Bartley J. Dowling, who resides on Bay Street on City Island, is the president of the New York City Chapter of Hells Angels.

Pryor could not be reached for comment.

The Hells Angels sold their property on Third Avenue in Alphabet City for $7.5 million and purchased the Longstreet Avenue property for $1.25 million according to reports.

The building was constructed for the Korony American Legion Post, which then sold the property to a real estate firm ten years ago.

The online version of this story and headline were revised on Friday, January 10.

Updated 4:34 pm, January 10, 2020
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