Several members of the Highwaymen Motorcycle Club trashed the Wheat and Rye gastropub in suburban Detroit in December 2005 when the gang attacked a patron who it had tussled with earlier in the evening at another local establishment. And in the middle of the fracas was then-Highwaymen national vice-president Aref (Scarface Steve) Nagi, currently at the center of recent explosive allegations that may compromise a series of crushing federal racketeering convictions won against club higher-ups seven years ago.

Scarface Steve Nagi, 53, is in prison serving time under the aforementioned racketeering bust, but his co-defendants and fellow incarcerated Highwaymen leaders are alleging he’s been an informant for law enforcement since the 1990s and claiming that his status as a double agent interfered with their chance at a fair defense. Nagi was heavily feared on the streets and once acted as the club’s sergeant-at-arms and warlord. He’s also smart and was known as a sharp legitimate businessman in the area’s white collar world.

According to court records, Nagi’s bodyguard and right-hand man Erick (Poke-A-Dot) Manners got into a fist fight with Alan Kirchoff at the Trolley Stop Lounge in Taylor, Michigan around 10:30 p.m. on the evening of December 22, 2005. Kirchoff dated an ex-girlfriend of Manners’ Highwaymen pal Leonard (Bo) Moore, Jr. After the altercation at the Trolley Stop Lounge, Kirchoff left and went to the Wheat and Rye in the nearby city of Allen Park. The Highwaymen followed him there and a ruckus broke out the moment Manners and his biker crew walked in the door.

Highwaymen member John (Jack Daniels Johnny) Jarrell called Nagi’s tapped phone and told him to come to the Wheat and Rye because there was “about to be trouble.” The wire intercepted Nagi telling Jarrell, “Don’t worry, I’ve got six motherfuckers with me and we’re on our way.”

At around 11:30 p.m., Kirchoff was sitting with a group of friends at a table inside the Wheat and Rye when Manners, with a host of Highwaymen in tow, arrived ready for action. Per court testimony, Manners, flanked by Nagi and others, immediately approached Kirchoff, grabbed him by the shirt, through him to the ground and started pummeling him with fists, feet, beer bottles, tables and chairs.

“Do you remember me, motherfucker?” Manners is alleged to have asked Kirchoff while physically lifting him up from his seat and throwing him into a circle of at least 10 frothing Highwaymen waiting to pounce.

Kirchoff eventually squirted free from his assailants and was able to flee through restaurant’s kitchen. Manners pulled a gun and fired two shots in the air, sending customers and bikers alike scurrying for the exits.

As a fleet of Allen Park police cruisers sped into the parking lot, they saw Nagi’s black-colored Ford F1-pick-up truck speeding away from the scene. With a cop car in pursuit, Nagi stopped his vehicle in the middle of the street and him, Highwaymen Mike (Cocoa) Cicchetti and their girlfriends took off on foot, ditching a Glock-9 revolver in a snowbank.

Days later, Kirchoff met Bo Moore at another local bar and complained about the beating. Moore reportedly told him to be quiet about it or he would become a target for retribution by the Highwaymen. Moore’s father, Leonard (Big Daddy) Moore, is the club’s overall boss.

Both Moores were convicted with Nagi in 2010. Bo Moore, 46, has eight more years to do on his sentence. The 69-year old Big Daddy Moore won’t be eligible for release until 2028.

Nagi was caught on federal audio surveillance discussing the incident at the Wheat and Rye with more than one Highwaymen in the days that followed.

“Poke-A-Dot busted off a couple shots last night,” Nagi told Louis (Dirty Lou) Fitzner, a future star witness against the club at trial.

One conversation picked up between Nagi and Bo Moore shows how excited acts of violence get club members.

“Man, I would have loved to have been there when Poka-A-Dot busted those caps,” Moore said.

Nagi described the scene inside the bar.

“He was just messing with him at first , then he motherfucked him and motherfuckers were coming out from everywhere, they all got around him and tuned him up pretty good,” Nagi told Moore.

In another phone call with Dennis (Knothead) Vanhulle, he criticized the Allen Park police.

“Shit, man, we had a thing last night at the Wheat and Rye, they fucked up though, the cops, they didn’t find my gun in the back of the pickup….those dumb motherfuckers,” said Scarface Steve with a laugh.

Nagi is scheduled to come home from prison in 2024. Knothead Vanhulle was killed awaiting trial in the 2000s Highwaymen racketeering case, shot in the head on his front porch by a rival biker in the Liberty Riders.

The Highwaymen are the state of Michigan’s oldest and largest biker gang, founded in Detroit in 1954 by Elburn (Big Max) Burns. The club maintains chapters in Indiana, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, New York and New Jersey. There are eight chapters in Michigan alone – Downtown Detroit, Eastside Detroit, Westside Detroit, Northwest Detroit, Downriver, Ann Arbor, Lansing and Monroe.

Leave a Reply