Pittsburgh police arrest Pagans motorcycle club members Friday after bar brawl
Pittsburgh police clashed with who they described as armed members of the Pagans motorcycle club at a South Side bar early Friday morning, which led to four arrests.
According to complaints filed in Pittsburgh Municipal Court, police were undercover officers investigating a drug complaint at Kopy’s Bar on South 12th Street when six members of the motorcycle club surrounded the detectives and a fight broke out.
Suspects Frank Deluca, 36, of Greenfield, Michael Zokaites, 38, of Shaler, Erik Hertzrater, 28, of Hampton and Bruce Thomas, 61, of Pittsburgh’s Allentown neighborhood, are all jailed and face charges of aggravated assault, conspiracy and riot.
Before the fight broke out, two of the six bikers left the bar, the complaint said, and the undercover officers called in for backup because someone identified them as police.
When the four Pagans approached the officers, the conversation was cordial, according to arrest papers. But then Deluca “became angry and began screaming obscenities at one of the detectives.” Another detective, the complaint said, stood between the two in an unsuccessful attempt to deescalate the confrontation.
Deluca is then described as pushing a detective, which started a fistfight.
Cell phone video obtained by WPXI TV captured by a bar customer shows two officers, one uniformed and a detective in plain clothes, confronting the defendants while one officer has his Taser drawn.
Police said they used a Taser and pepper spray to arrest the four suspects.
During the fight, detectives discovered that Deluca and Hertzrater both carried handguns lawfully. Detectives said they also confiscated three “large” knives from the bar floor after the fight.
Deluca, who faces five counts of aggravated assault, is shown in a mugshot with two black eyes, a cut above his right eye and bruises on his head.