The Road Vultures
Club, Buffalo-based, was formed in 1955 and
was patterned somewhat after
the Hell's' Angels of Northern
Thomas G. Bell was the original Road Vultures Head
Thomas G. Bell was shot to death in a scuffle at 173 Dewitt
Street, Buffalo NY
Charles Pfohl, 23,
of Buffalo, a reputed member of
the Road Vultures
, suffered a fatal head
wound when shot by a policeman
in suburban Cheektowaga
during an attempted arrest for
a traffic violation.
Clubhouse was located at 775 South Ogden Street, Buffalo NY
In 1968 the "Road Vultures Motorcycle Club" became the
first chapter of Hells Angles in New York State
To Go To Bruce Jackson Photography Click
42 Stitches After Fight
Deputy Gene Palazzo was called to DeGraff Memorial Hospital,
North Tonawanda, at 1:30 this morning when two "Road
Vultures" refused to tell hospital authorities how they
had suffered severe face cuts.
Palazzo reported David Paddock of 164 Jewett Ave. Buffalo
required 46 stitches
in his face.
James Beck of 621Grant St., Buffalo, received 10 stitches.
the report, Beck told Deputy Palazzo he was hit with an
unknown object while he was getting on his motorcycle in front
of the El Rancho Restaurant, Niagara Falls Blvd.
said Paddock refused to say how he had suffered the cuts but
two girl companions said Paddock had been hit with a bottle.
referred to on the sheriff's report as members of the
"Road Vultures" motor, cycle club, were both
released after treatment.
Youths Attacked by"Black Jacketed Men"
TOWN OF LOCKPORT
April 1964—Six Barker youths told sheriff's deputies
Thursday night they were attacked by a group of "black
jacketed men" while watching a movie at the Lockport
Deputy John Corioa and Lockport Patrolman Gerald Tremblay
conducted a search of taverns and restaurants in Lockport but
were unable to find anyone fitting description of the
One youth, told
deputies one of the gang hit him in the face giving him a nose
bleed and a cut above his nose.
The gang also
broke beer bottles in his car, the report said.
was called to the drive-in, located in Rochester Road, about
10:40 p.m. by the manager who reported a disturbance. However,
the black jacketed group had left before the deputy arrived.
told Deputy Corica the gang called themselves "the road
Girl Are Nabbed In Dope Raid
(AP) —Ten men, described-
members of a motorcycle gang, and a teen age girl have been
arrested in a narcotics raid on a suburban farmhouse, whose
walls were covered with a swastika and a picture of Hitler,
raid was conducted yesterday by Amherst police and Federal
Bureau of Narcotics agents at the farmhouse in the suburban
town of Amherst. Police had been watching the place for a
men, who ranged in age from 21 to 26, and the girl, who was
18, were charged with possession of marijuana. One of the men
also was charged with attempting to induce the girl to take
said the place was rented by the Road Vultures cycle club.
They also said they discovered a quantity of marijuana in the
also found a swastika, a picture of Hitler and statements
painted on the wall, including "Down with Johnson"
and. "Kill the Cops."
Leader' Sues City, 3 Policemen
7, 1966 (UPI)—The ground work was laid Friday for the filing
of a $100,000 law-suit against the city and three of its
police officers by the 24-year-old alleged ringleader of the
"Road Vultures" motorcycle gang.
Schnell filed a "notice of claim" through his
attorney Friday, charging' he was assaulted, illegally
imprisoned and falsely arrested by the three officers.
came one week after a-city court jury acquitted Schnell of a
charge of preventing an officer from doing his duty. It was
one of five charges lodged against him following a disturbance
at a lounge Feb. 6.
including resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, are
The notice of
claim, according to Atty. John M. Daly, was filed as required
by law within 90 days of the alleged incident.
beginning of court proceedings, he said, can be brought
anytime within the next year.
Assault In the action, Schnell asserted he suffered
lacerations, contusions, a possible fractured skull and
"an extreme loss of blood" as a result of his arrest
and assault in the lounge and in a police car enroute to jail.
indicted Thursday by an Erie County jury on a charge of
stemmed from a raid on the gang's farmhouse headquarters in
suburban Amherst by federal narcotics agents and local police
last Dec. 12.
Judge Tags Defendants As 'Slobs'
14, 1966 (UPI)-Eight
alleged members of the notorious Road Vultures motorcycle gang
were to go on trial in City Court today after a city judge
disqualified himself Monday for calling the defendants
J. Ostrowski made the remark to defense attorney Vincent E.
Doyle as the trial was' slated to get under way.
there any reason why your clients show in court dressed like
slobs?" he asked. "This is no circus," he
Many of the
eight men' wore open shirts or sweaters and were unshaven.
Many wore hair over their foreheads and locks down the backs
of their necks.
moved that the judge should disqualify himself from the
non-jury trial because of the remarks.
granted the motion and ordered all. eight to return to court
to stand trial before another city judge.
identified all the defendants as members of the Road Vultures,
a group of men ranging in age from their early 20s to early
30s. Members of the gang have been arrested several times in
the past on charges ranging- from possessing marijuana to
grand larceny and to procuring women for immoral purposes.
Four of the
eight presently on trial are accused of being drunk. Two
others face charges of being drunk and creating a disturbance,
and the two remaining are accused of attempting to prevent a
policeman from performing his duty.
charge was filed, police said when two of the group identified
as Charles Pfohl, 21, and Joseph Rohndpoint, 30, threatened to
shoot the arresting police officers following their arrest
Motorcycle Gang Halted At Border
FALLS, Ont. July 11, 1966 (UPI)—Thirty-eight
members of the Road Vultures motorcycle gang from the Buffalo
area were prevented from" entering Canada over the
weekend when they attempted to cross the border at Fort Erie
and Niagara Falls.
ordered 24 of the riders deported as "undesirables"
after they crossed Peace Bridge at Fort Erie.
cyclists, wearing black leather jackets and trousers and
western boots, were denied entry at Rainbow Bridge here.
Police said they were "badly in need of a bath."
14 Members Of Gang Held In Row Here
Niagara Falls Sept
3 1966 - Fourteen persons claiming to be members of the
Buffalo-based "Road Vultures" gang were arrested
shortly after midnight today and charged with disorderly
conduct following an altercation in the Strand Lounge, 209
Main St. Niagara Falls.
The group will appear in City Court Tuesday morning
The three girls in the group and two of the males are
free on $200 bond each for the males and $50 each for the
The remaining nine arrested early today were in the
jail at the Public Safety Building.
The black leather jackets worn by each of them were
confiscated by police.
Police said the group came to Niagara Falls from
Buffalo in three cars. They had been
in the city about two hours when they were arrested,
according to police reports.
January 31, 1967—Four suspects captured last week in
Oakland, Calif., in connection with the robbery-slaying of a
Buffalo jewelry salesman on Dec. 20, were scheduled for
arraignment today in City Court.
Babchak, 26, of Buffalo, has been charged with first-degree
murder. Martin Geary, 20, also of Buffalo, who was apprehended
previously, has been arraigned and awaits grand jury action on
a murder charge.
Also to be
arraigned today are Chester Michalek, 26, and his wife Sally,
21, who gave a
Street address in Lockport as their most recent place of
residence, and William Hessler, 24, of Hamburg.
Michaleks and Hessler were arrested by – Oakland police on
warrants charging them as accessories and claiming that they
drove Babchak to Oakland from Buffalo on Jan. 5. The Michaleks
have said that they are former residents of Oakland.
found beaten to death in an alley off Chippawa Street here on
Dec. 20. The attack was reported to have occurred shortly
after he was seen in a tavern flashing large amounts of money
and police have asserted robbery was the motive.
previously was the leader of the Road Vultures, according to
police files, and all other suspects are alleged to have been
associated with that motorcycle gang. Michalek, however, told
police he had known Babchak only for a little more than a
month and that he did not know he was a murder suspect when he
drove him to Oakland.
Vulture, Shot by Policeman, Suffers Fatal Head Wound
Cheektowaga, Oct. 28, Charles Pfohl, 23, of Buffalo, a
reputed member of the Road
Vultures, suffered a fatal head wound when shot by a
policeman in suburban Cheektowaga during an attempted arrest
for a traffic, violation.
Head of Road
Head of Road
Vultures Motorcycle Club Shot
to Death, 2 Wounded in Apartment Raid
BUFFALO, N.Y. November
10, 1967 (AP)
- A man who police said shot three intruders. during an attack
on his brother was charged today with manslaughter hours after
one of them died.
Thomas G. Bell, 24, head of the Buffalo-based Road
Vultures Motorcycle Club, was wounded
fatally Thursday night by Walter Edin, 29, in the apartment of
Edin's brother, Jack, 21; at 173 Dewitt St., as
Jack's wife and two young children looked on, police said.
They said Bell and two club members, Thomas P. Murray,
20, and Gary- Sheriff, 23, had
forced their way into the apartment reportedly to retrieve an
inexpensive watch in Jack Edin's possession. Murray and
Sheriff were wounded in the legs.
Police charged Walter Edin with first-degree assault
and illegal possession of a dangerous weapon, in addition to
first degree manslaughter. They said he had wrested the pistol
Sheriff during a scuffle. "We had to file those
charges" against Walter Edin, a police spokesman told a
reporter, because a man was killed and other factors.
He said the charges did not stem from the
controversial new state penal law that defines the right of
other people to use deadly force.
Asst. Det. Chief Anthony R. Burvid, who led the
investigation, gave this story:
Bell, Murray and Sheriff, without first knocking
entered the West Side apartment of Jack Edin, 21, who was
believed to have the watch in his possession.
Bell immediately grabbed Edin, punched him in the face
and knocked him to the floor, where he continued to pummel him
with his fists.
Sheriff, meanwhile, flashed a .32 caliber automatic
pistol to keep Edin's visitor, Kenneth
Perry, 28, of Walden, N.Y., at a safe distance.
As Sheriff lifted a leg to kick Edin, the man's
brother Walter Edin, 29, grabbed the weapon
and fired the fatal shot at Bell, who apparently still was on
Sheriff and Murray advanced toward Walter Edin, who
first warned them to stay back, then squeezed off two more
Detectives said they could not say why the wrist
watch, which was missing its strap, was the motive for the
beating or how Jack Edin acquired it.
Sheriff, of Buffalo, and Murray, of suburban West
Seneca, were taken to the hospital, and
Murray was later jailed. Both were charged with first-degree
assault and first-degree burglary.
In addition, Sheriff was charged with illegal
possession of a dangerous weapon.
The Edin brothers and Perry were described as
structural steel workers. Jack Edin's wife
and two young children also were in the apartment during the
incident, police said.
The death of the bearded Bell was the second of a Road
Vultures member in less than two
On Oct. 28, Charles Pfohl, 23, of Buffalo, a reputed
member of the band, suffered a fatal head wound when shot by a
policeman in suburban Cheektowaga during an attempted arrest
for a traffic, violation.
The Buffalo-based motorcycle band was formed in 1955
and was patterned somewhat after the Hell's' Angels of
Northern California, police said.
Persons linked by authorities to the Road Vultures
have been arrested numerous times on a
variety of charges.
Bell and Murray were among a group seized in a police
narcotics raid at the band's headquarters last Sept. 6. They
were awaiting trial.
||Spain Rodriguez (left)
rides with the Road Vultures Motorcycle Club at 1967 funeral
of club president Tommy Bell. (Photo by Bruce Jackson)
40 Cycles Roar Out
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - The
slain president of the Road Vultures
Motorcycle Club went to
his grave Monday, the hearse
carrying his casket escorted by
40 roaring cycles.
Thomas G. Bell, a bearded,
24-year-old shipping clerk, was
laid to rest in Buffalo's Forest
Lawn Cemetery after a funeral
service in which leather jacketed
cyclists mingled with
persons in conventional dress.
Members of the Buffalo-based Road Vultures were joined
the crowd by representatives i
from motorcycle bands elsewhere
in Western New York and
Massachusetts, Ohio, Connecticut
and Ontario, Canada.
Bell's funeral cortege was led
by a motorcycle-bearing a red
flag emblazoned with a Nazi
swastika. Next in line was a
small flat-bed trailer carrying
his flower-bedecked cycle.
Before Bell's casket was
sealed, someone placed sunglasses
on his eyes and a Road
Vultures sweatshirt on his chest,
atop his blue suit and white
At the cemetery, a club member
stepped forward and poured
the contents of a pint whiskey
bottle on the metal casket, then
tried to smash the bottle against
the coffin lid, but without
A mimeographed eulogy distributed
at the cemetery said
Bell "was born to be free and
died to be free."
Several plainclothes policemen
stood by during the service.
Also in the gathering were Bell's
wife, Regina, and their 2-yearold
Bell was shot fatally last
Thursday night after, police
said, he and two other Road Vultures
stormed into the apartment
here of Jack Edin, to retrieve
an inexpensive watch.
In the ensuing fracas, detectives
said, Bell was shot in the
back with a pistol by Edin's
brother, Walter, 29. The other
two motorcyclists suffered leg
Family Seeks $1 Million
BUFFALO, N.Y. Jan 6, 1968 (AP) - The
wife, infant son and father of a
motorcycle club member slain
by a suburban policeman during
an attempted arrest have filed
$1 million damage suit
against the officer and three
The relatives of the late
Charles A. Pfohl, 23, of Buffalo
entered the claim Friday
against a Patrolman of the Cheektowaga Police
Department, the town of
Cheektowaga, the Village of
Sloan and the City of Buffalo.
Pfohl, a member of the Buffalo based Road Vultures
Club, suffered a fatal head
wound last Oct. 28 when a Patrolman service revolver
as the two scuffled in
Cheektowaga, police said.
The policeman, who also is a
professional heavyweight boxer,
had chased Pfohl after the
young, man fled from an automobile
pursued for a traffic violation,
Plaintiffs in the. case, charging
negligence and wrongful
death, are Pfohl's widow,
son, Charles Jr.; and
Buffalo's corporation counsel,
Anthony Manguso, said he was
puzzled why the city was named
in the suit, since city police
were not involved. Sloan is in
the town of Cheektowaga and
the Cheektowaga Patrolman's partner was a village
The policeman was suspended
from duty while a grand jury
investigated the incident but
was reinstated with full back
pay when the panel cleared him
of any criminal liability.
January 30,1968 (AP)
Erie County Grand
manslaughter charge in
of the president of
Club but has
ordered him to
on a weapons count.
decision was reached
Buffalo was arraigned
County Court on an
charging illegal possession
A no-bill was
returned on a
brought by police.
Bell, 24, of Buffalo
was killed by
a pistol bullet
fracas at the home
Edin's brother, Jack, 21,
Murray, 20, of West
to the apartment
5 in Motorcycle Club Are Put
On Bail on Car Theft Charge
Niagara Falls, April 2, 1968, Five members of the Road
Vultures Motorcycle Club, one
of them a Niagara Falls resident,
were placed on bail when
they appeared before Acting
City Court Judge Nunzio Rizzo
in Criminal Court Monday in
connection with the theft of a
car from Minneapolis.
Three of those charged were
bailed and the other two were
being held in Niagara County
Jail pending arrangement. of
bail. They are:
Elker Katz, 19, of 445 Seventh
St., this city, charged with
grand larceny and held in Lockport pending arrangement of
$5,000 cash or $10,000 property
Helen Leeburg, .20, of 432
School Road, Lowell, Mass.,
charged with grand larceny, no
operator's license and not having
proper plates on a motor
vehicle, held in Lockport pending
arrangement of $2,000 cash
or $4,000 property bail.
Russell G. Samrany, 22, of E.
Delavan Ave., Buffalo, charged
with grand larceny, released on
bail of $3,000 cash of $6,000 property.
James T. Roach, 25, of 156
Como Ave., Buffalo, charged
with grand larceny, released on
$3,000 cash or $6,000 property
Margie Pfohl, 20, of 419 Fargo
St., Buffalo, charged with grand
larceny and released on bail of
$2,000 cash or $4,000 property.
Their cases were adjourned to
April 22 by Judge Rizzo.
The five. were arrested in
Main Street at 1:30 a.m. Sunday
following an investigation by the
police Tactical Unit into a fight
at the Strand Lounge.
A check of the car in which
the five were occupants revealed
a set of Minnesota license
plates on the rear seat and subsequent check of the plates
revealed the car was stolen in
said the Leeburg woman had
a key chain in her possession
which contained at least 20 master
keys for various makes of
BUFFALO, NY. DECEMBER
8 (AP) -
A City Court,
marijuanna possession charges against seven
five men arrested
last Dec. 23
in a predawn raid
on the Road
Sebastian J. Bellomo
charges when both the defense attorney and an assistant
district attorney agreed that a search warrant used in the
raid did not comply with standard procedure and that alleged
evidence had been suppressed by court order.
Grand Jury Indicted 3 in $500,000
NY, January 7, 1969
A Federal Grand Jury
has indicted three men on charges of possessing 12 tons of
powder valued at
indictments were handed
up Monday to Judge
Curtin of U.S.
Roach, 25, and David
A. Urban, 19,
all of Buffalo, described
by police as
of the Road
charged with possession
of the metal,
stored in 32
the metal was
20 by thieves who
flatbed truck to haul the
All three men
$5,000 bond each.
BUFFALO, N.Y. June
Sheriff, 25, of Buffalo, has been
sentenced to serve two years in
the Erie County Penitentiary
after his conviction on charges
stemming from a fight in which
a man was fatally shot.
Justice Charles J. Caughan
sentenced Sheriff Friday.
Sheriff was involved in a fight
in which Thomas G. Bell, 24,
president of the Road Vultures
Motorcycle Club, was shot.
Police said Bell, Sheriff and
Thomas Murray, of West Seneca,
forced their way into the
apartment of Jack Eden in Buffalo
during November of 1967.
During an ensuing fight Bell
Sheriff was convicted of third degree
assault and first-degree
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Anti-Gambling Crusader Murdered