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Shooter in Hells Angels Clubhouse Brawl Arrested, Police Say

By Allegra Hobbs | December 21, 2016 10:53am | Updated on December 21, 2016 6:16pm
 The Hells Angels clubhouse is located at 77 E. Third St.
The Hells Angels clubhouse is located at 77 E. Third St.
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DNAinfo/Allegra Hobbs

EAST VILLAGE — A man who shot another in the stomach during a brawl over a parking spot outside the East Village's Hells Angels clubhouse has been arrested, the NYPD said.

Anthony Iovenitti, 52, was arrested in The Bronx Tuesday for shooting David Martinez, 25, outside the biker club at 77 E. Third St. on Dec. 11, police said. The fight is thought to have started when Martinez moved a traffic cone, police said.

"We were able to identify him with the help of the intelligence bureau, track him down, different parts where he ran to, and we were able to arrest him," NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said.

Iovenitti, who has seven prior arrests, was arrested on charges of attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon, police said. He was ultimately arraigned on the assault and criminal possession charges, according to a criminal complaint.

Martinez had hopped out of his car on Third Street between Second and First avenues around 1:20 a.m. to move a traffic cone outside the clubhouse so he could drive past when a biker came out of the club and told him to leave it alone, authorities said.

The biker punched Martinez in the face, at which point others spilled out of the clubhouse to join the fight, police said.

During the brawl, Iovenitti allegedly pulled out a gun and shot Martinez in the stomach, police said.

According to a criminal complaint, a witness informed a detective on the case that Iovenitti shot Martinez in the stomach. Prosecutors have reviewed surveillance footage provided by the NYPD that shows a man fighting with Martinez raising his arm and firing the gun in the victim's direction, according to a criminal complaint.

The bullet severed Martinez's colon and was lodged in his spine, according to the complaint, and he is currently recovering at Bellevue Hospital.

Police could not confirm if Iovenitti is a member of the Hells Angels. The New York Post reported he is a "prospect" member, meaning he is close to being inducted into the notorious group.

Iovenitti was arraigned Wednesday afternoon, court records show, and was released on $25,000 bail bond, according to his attorney. He is due back in court Dec. 23.

Iovenitti's attorney, Ronald Kuby, said that no eyewitnesses have identified his client as the gunman, and that Iovenitti has not been identified in the NYPD video purportedly obtained by the prosecution.

"As we pointed out in court, despite the fact there are supposedly four eyewitnesses, none of them have identified Mr. Iovenitti as possessing a gun, shooting a gun, or even being there," said Kuby.

Martinez himself has not identified Iovenitti and is still recovering in the hospital, said Kuby.

However, Kuby argued that whoever did shoot Martinez did so in self defense, claiming that witnesses said Martinez had been kicking his attacker in the head before the shooting.

"It is fair to say that whoever did fire that shot was clearly acting in self-defense," said Kuby. "According to witness accounts, Mr. Martinez had knocked someone to the ground and was kicking him in the head with his boots when that person, who was on the ground being kicked in the head, fired the shot into Mr. Martinez."

When asked about Iovenitti's purported ties to the Hells Angels, Kuby said he was unaware of any connection as he does not "sit on the membership committee," but went on to say his client is a father of two, a lifelong New Yorker, and has worked as a heavy machinery operator for almost 30 years.

Iovenitti had previously been arrested in October for another fight over a parking spot. He was charged with assault for pushing a man to the ground, causing him to hit his head on a fire hydrant, police said. 

The NYPD raided the clubhouse days after the shooting as part of an investigation, but only managed to slap the biker gang with a summons for blocking the street. Officers also seized a ramp, some planters and a bench.

— Trevor Kapp contributed to this story