LONG ISLAND -- Brookhaven Town officials say the Hells Angels have purchased a former church in Centereach, Long Island.
The gates are locked and signs, which read "no trespassing, private property" are up around a new chain link fence installed on the property that was once home to a baptist church.
Now, the Lynbrook street building in Brentwood, with a window shaped like a cross, is home to the Suffolk County headquarters.
“Some people are nervous with MS-13, now this but you got guys like these protecting. I ain't got no problem...it is what it is,” said Richard Rodriguez, who lives nearby.
It has some neighbors furious and others driving by curious to see what the fuss has been about after the infamous motorcycle club held a toy drive here on December 8, which caused traffic problems.
“Last Saturday, you couldn't get down the street. It’s not a nice move these poor people will never sell their houses. Who’s gonna want to buy there?” said Laura Felonne, who has lived on the block for 60 years and says the middle of a residential neighborhood is the wrong place for the bike group.
Town officials say the club intends to modify the building’s interior before moving in and will be applying for permits. They met with club leaders who have been cooperative and plan to be "good neighbors."
Hells Angels attorney Ron Kuby says they will be an asset keeping crime low and patronizing local establishments. They are a private organization of motorcycle enthusiasts who largely wish to be left alone still neighbor who fear this might be the beginning of loud parties and street traffic aren't convinced.
“I have no problem with the hells angels but they don't belong in a residential neighborhood and they don't belong in residential neighborhood and i don't know what the town of Brookhaven was thinking,” Felonne said.
Brookhaven town officials say they cannot prevent the group from using the site as long as members abide by local codes.AlertMe