Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Fatality, 2 arrests hit bikers hard

Running red light proves deadly

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AN associate of the Hells Angels is dead and two others linked to the biker gang, including the leader of its puppet club, are in custody following a series of unrelated incidents in the city on Friday.

Tyson Kanski, 22, described by police as an "associate" of the Hells Angels, was killed running a red light in Elmwood Friday.

A police cruiser was attempting to stop Kanski and a second biker when the crash occurred at the corner of Talbot Avenue and Grey Street around 6:10 p.m.

Friends of Kanski set up a memorial at the intersection yesterday. Some of them described him as "a good guy" and they disputed the police view that he was linked to the Hells Angels.

In a separate incident, Sean Frederick Demchuk, 20, was arrested Friday and charged with several offences related to the fire-bombing of D's Leatherworks at 574 Broadway earlier this month.

A Molotov cocktail was thrown through the front window, starting a fire that caused $10,000 damage to the small shop.

Demchuk is a Hells Angels associate and member of the Zig Zag street gang that works for the Angels.

He is charged with arson, intimidation of justice, possession of a prohibited weapon and possession of the proceeds of crimes.

As part of an unrelated investigation, police also arrested William Laurin Bowden, 27, on Friday and charged him with uttering threats.

A police spokesman said Bowden was a Hells Angels "prospect" and current leader of the Zig Zag crew.

More information about the nature of the charges against Bowden was unavailable yesterday.

Demchuk was one of four Angels associates who had charges against them stayed earlier this month.

Demchuk and the others had been charged in a string of violent, intimidation-related crimes, including firebombings, drive-by shootings and plotting to kill.

The Crown has not explained why the charges were dropped, but the usual reasons are lack of evidence or the unavailability of witnesses.

Demchuk and another Angels associate have also launched a lawsuit against four Winnipeg police officers for allegedly arresting them on trumped-up charges that they were involved in a kidnapping two years ago.

Meanwhile, the driver of the car that collided with Kanski sustained minor injuries in the crash and was treated at Concordia General Hospital.

Police, who were following Kanski, had seen him run another red light minutes before the fatal collision.

Patrolling officers had heard the sound of noisy mufflers and spotted Kanski and the other biker on Watt Street, Insp. Darryl Priesentanz said yesterday.

"At no time were police in pursuit," Priesentanz said.

It appeared the bikers had spotted the cruiser following them in traffic, because they speeded up and passed a vehicle in front of them, he said.

At the next major intersection -- Watt and Talbot Avenue -- one biker stopped for a red light while Kanski went through the light and sped away.

The police cruiser had stopped the first biker when they heard the crash of Kanski's motorcycle colliding with the car.


-- With files from Alexandra Paul

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 29, 2003 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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