Outlaw biker gives up thug life, becomes decorated detective
05/10/2016 4:01 pm PDT
Biker gangs are notorious for crime in this country, everything from extortion to drug-running. Michelle Sigona has the story of one bad biker who was living a double life.
Wayne "Big Chuck" Bradshaw was not the type of guy you wanted to mess with: A tough-as-nails outlaw in a biker gang. But when it comes to Bradshaw, not everything is as it seems.
He's one guy you'd never want to meet in a dark alley. "Big Chuck" Bradshaw is 250 pounds of bad news, a hell-raising, no-holds-barred onetime member of the infamous Pagans motorcycle gang.
"I wanted to show that I was the toughest, nastiest, meanest guy out there that no one can mess with," said Bradshaw. "I viewed people, I was going to leave them alone, but if any way, in any way they would interfere with what I was doing I would squash them like a bug."
Well-known, respected, and most of all, feared on the North Jersey Shore.
"When I was running with the Pagans, we owned this street right here," said Bradshaw. "We were royalty. People would stop and look, it was a scene."
And he had no problem breaking the law for his brothers.
"I was collecting loans for people who should not have been borrowing, which was very easy for me to do. Or I would go rip off drug dealers for cash," said Bradshaw.
Nobody messed with Big Chuck.
"This bar behind me, we nicknamed it the 'Bucket of Blood.' You can get into a fight anytime you want," said Bradshaw.
But there was one fight in that bar that changed his life forever.
"It was a very gory fight and I had clearly broken his nose with a punch. A fear/adrenaline-laced right cross that shattered this guy's face. and then I got knocked to the ground with him and his blood and his snot, everything, it's all coming out of his body, all over," said Bradshaw. "A really disgusting scene, and it really turned my stomach and it was a turning point for me. I guess, Is this always going to be my life, you know?"
Bradshaw knew sooner or later he would have to give up the life of an outlaw.
"If I don't make this break, what's going to happen to me? I'm going to wind up in prison or dead, and it's going to happen probably not in the too-distant future," said Bradshaw.
But he knew walking away was not going to be easy -- in fact, it could be deadly. He had to tell the leader of the Jersey Pagans that he wanted out.
"He was my friend, but he was a savage person with a mean streak, volatile temper, mercurial," said Bradshaw. "I walked up to him, had the colors in my hand and handed them to him. He snatches them out of my hands, and I go, 'I'm not into this ---- anymore.' I looked him in the eye, he looked at me, and if I showed enough fear at that point I was gone. I turned my back to him and walked away."
The Pagans never laid a finger on Big Chuck. After leaving the motorcycle gang, Bradshaw kept fighting, but on the right side of the law. This outlaw became an undercover cop, working with the same officers who used to chase him.
"They knew he was a Pagan and they knew that he got hired. Not too many people trusted him in our division," said retired Middletown Police Detective Ronald Ohnmacht.
"Look, a lot of those guys didn't want me there, no question about it. But I was a skilled fighter and I had their backs," said Bradshaw.
Bradshaw's life as a thug gave him the skills to take down drug dealers, so he was assigned to a narcotics undercover squad.
"This was very easy for me. When I was in the Pagan motorcycle club, I'm robbing drug dealers, so doing this under the auspices of the law, this is very easy," said Bradshaw. "I have the best skill-set of anybody that went undercover."
He's partnered up with Jack Mullins.
"I think he's one of the most honest, one of the most intelligent cops I've met," said Mullins.
Mullins got to see firsthand how Bradshaw's life as an outlaw saved their lives during an undercover sting.
"The dealer is sitting right behind me in a chair inside a van, I'm trying to build this story about us being outlaw bikers, and he was perfect," said Bradshaw. "I told him 'Don't talk, just grunt, sound nasty,' because he doesn't understand the motorcycle game that well. But he was great. I would say something like 'We got to move these bikes up Friday night, you think it'd be a problem?' He'd say '----in' ay.' 'Hey Jack, what do you think about "Juicy Lucy," you think she would be a good bet to go in the back?' '----in' ay right.' It was perfect until I sneezed. Then Jack says -- "
"I said 'God bless you,'" said Mullins.
"I said 'God, God bless me?' No outlaw biker talks like that in my mind," said Bradshaw. "I said 'When has God ever blessed me?' and I punch him. I reach over and I hit him -- Wham -- and I said 'God's been ----ing me.' Then I look over at the back seat and said 'Are we square on this deal or not, 'cause if we are not, you are outta here.' And he said 'Nah, nah, we're good, I'll do it.'"
"I was just having manners," said Mullins.
After 20 years of taking down tons of hardcore criminals, Bradshaw retired as a highly decorated police detective.
"Life doesn't usually give you opportunities to make right for things that weren't so good, and I can feel good about myself knowing that I took the opportunity and did the most I could with it and I have peace of mind about it," said Bradshaw.