Benevolent Conn. bikers fear bad rap after Waco shootings

(WTNH)–After the shootout in Waco, Texas between rival biker gangs, a spotlight is now shining on riders across the country, and it’s upsetting to many benevolent bikers in Connecticut.

“To see stuff like this in Waco, nothing but a bunch of thugs carrying weapons looking for a problem,” said Dick Lupkas, a biker and event organizer. “Really, it’s terrible. They’re idiots in my opinion.”

At Valley Diner on Route 34 in Derby, Lupkas has been organizing fundraising rides for the past 10 years, drawing hundreds of bikers to the area for peaceful charity events.

“(Fundraisers for) Disabled vets, children with cancer, Shriner’s Hospital, etc.”

But Connecticut is home to other motorcycle clubs who have had past issues.

The Diablos headquarters in Meriden was raided in 2005. A dozen Diablos and associates were arrested on drug and gun charges. And in 2006, two members of the Hell’s Angels were shot while riding on I-95 in West Haven, one man died.

“When you see stuff like Waco, it’s sickening, it really is,” Lupkas said. “You’re giving us a bad name.”

Lupkas said the bikers who show up to his events are far from those bad apples. In fact he said they’ve raised over $45,000 in two years.

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