I-Team: Former Hells Angels President Talks About Brawl - 8 News NOW

I-Team: Former Hells Angels President Talks About Brawl

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Charles 'Pee Wee' Goldsmith Charles 'Pee Wee' Goldsmith

LAS VEGAS -- The former president of the Las Vegas Chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club says he is sorry for the violence that erupted at a Las Vegas wedding chapel.

The fight between members of the Angels and their rivals the Mongols took place in December 2008, but it still being litigated.

Defendant Charles 'Pee Wee' Goldsmith expects to be sentenced to up to five years in prison for his part in the fracas but told the I-Team that the violence was a matter of self defense.

"I think the police and the DA are making a big deal about it naturally because it's the Hells Angels, so it makes the news," Goldsmith said.

Goldsmith thinks that at least part of the reason he is facing prison is because of the reputation of the feared motorcycle club that he brought to Las Vegas.

Law enforcement considers the Hells Angels to be a criminal organization, and since Goldsmith was a chapter president, that makes him a target, even though-- he says--he has no criminal record other than for fighting.

"I can hear someone in the audience saying, 'that is what you get for joining the Hells Angels," I-Team investigator George Knapp pointed out.

"Yeah, I can hear that myself, you know. I've had people tell me that, 'why did you do it?' You know, the good outweighed the bad. When it was bad, it was really bad, but you know, the good times, I've traveled the world, met a lot of good guys. There is still a lot of good guys out there," Goldsmith said.

Goldsmith left the club four years ago, in part, because of the same incident that is sending him to prison, the wedding chapel brawl of December 2008.

By an amazing and unfortunate coincidence, Goldsmith's son Brad was getting married, with fellow Angels in attendance, on the same day, at the same chapel, a wedding involving the rival Mongols Motorcycle Club was taking place. Given the animosity between the two clubs, it is no surprise that violence erupted.

"We just don't get along. That is the way it has been, you know. There were people that were just recently killed on either side so tensions were high," Goldsmith said.

The tension between Angels and Mongols was palpable at the time of the brawl. The memory of a deadly melee at a Laughlin casino was still fresh in the minds of both clubs. Pee Wee says when he saw Mongols at the wedding chapel, his self-defense instincts kicked in.

"I went around and turned the corner and he saw me, he stuck his hand in his pocket, and a guy like me, I reacted. I'm not going to let you shoot or stab me," Goldsmith said.

Knapp: "That is your assumption--that he had something in his pocket?"

Goldsmith: "He stuck his hand in, I didn't think he was giving me the keys to his car, so I just started blasting him."

Pee Wee says it was self defense, but the sources close to the Mongols say this wasn't a brawl, it was an unprovoked attack that left six people injured.

At a going-away party last week, Goldsmith and his son said their goodbyes' to friends and family. Pee Wee says he was initially offered a deal in which he agreed to serve prison time, if his son got probation. That offer was rescinded.

After an initial mistrial, a few of the defendants reached a plea deal in which they agreed the chapel fight was gang related.

"Because the Hells Angels are not a gang, never been proven to be a gang, so I don't even know why he took that, I was totally upset with him taking that because I know that was going to trickle down," Goldsmith said.

Pee Wee has been getting advice about life behind bars from his odd couple friend--former reputed mob associate Frank Citro, a member of Nevada's so-called Black Book of persons barred from visiting casinos.

Citro was the host of the goodbye party. He cannot understand why an unplanned brawl between bitter rivals requires a lengthy prison sentence.

"It boiled down to this: a fist fight, and this man is being persecuted now because he is the one who brought the Hells Angels here and because of his size that escalates everything," Citro said.

Prosecutors and the Mongols think the videotape conclusively proves the Angels provoked the fight and that prison time is more than justified.

Goldsmith, who stands 6-feet-8 tall and weighs close to 400 pounds, says he knows he will have a tough time in prison no matter where he is sent. The longtime truck driver and Teamster member has worked as a celebrity bodyguard but doesn't know if his former membership in the Hells Angels will attract trouble behind bars.

He is due to be sentenced Tuesday morning.

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I-Team: Former President of Las Vegas Hells Angels Speaks Out

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