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2007_01_hells1.jpgMore details have emerged about why the police raided the Hells Angels Headquarters on East 3rd Street yesterday. It turns out that 52 year old Roberta Shalaby was beaten into a coma when, as the Daily News puts it, she "tried to push her way into the Hells Angels clubhouse" Sunday night. Shalaby had gotten into an argument with a female Hells Angel biker at The Edge, and then followed them to their headquarters. Witnesses say she yelled, "You motherf----r! Let me in!" as well as "Come down here and say it like a man!" when someone from the club told her to shut up. Then someone came out and beat her up, according to police.

One witness said Shalaby had been crying, "Oh my God! Oh my God! Help me! Help me!" as she was bleeding on the sidewalk. Someone called 911 about the assault, and the police arrived. The Hells Angels allegedly told the police to get a warrant before entering, so they did, but not before sealing off East 3rd Street, setting up snipers, bringing the hostage negotiation truck, putting helicopters in the air and even having the "Bearcat" armored vehicle on the scene. Police officers were carrying machine guns and wearing bull-proof vests. There was no confrontation though - the police took a few men into custody, but only arrested one, without much fuss.

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The Hells Angels's lawyer Ron Kuby complained that the police didn't allow gang members to move their cars, calling the street a crime scene, and said, "For most of the day and evening, they've turned a chunk of the Lower East Side into Fallujah." Finally, Kuby agrees with Giuliani on something! But in 1998, the city had to pay the Hells Angels $450,000 for "exceeding the scope of their warrant" while investigating another assault.

Our readers had some interesting thoughts about the Hells Angels. One wrote, "I lived in the building next door all last year and once, one of the hell's angels punched my mom's 65 year old boyfriend in the face because our car was next to their bikes while i was getting out." Another said, "I've lived in the east village for almost 20 years, my father for almost 35. I will miss the Hells Angels when I wake up the next day too another twenty thousand NYU students and jerkoffs from New Jersey who come into my neighborhood just to make noise and make a mess."

Photographs of the scene in the East Village by Mary Altaffer/AP; photograph of Roberta Shalaby via the Daily News