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East side activists want to build skate park at ex-biker gang headquarters

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 5, 2016)-- In the summer of 2012, the Outlaws motorcycle gang ran afoul of Joe Hogsett when he was U.S. Attorney and more than 40 arrests resulted in the dismantling of the organization.

In October, their headquarters on East New York Street was torn down and turned over to the city that Hogsett now runs as mayor for community development.

Two east side activists have a vision for that former Outlaw patch of land that includes putting youth on wheels of another type.

“We’d like to take where the Outlaws were at and have a skater park created there,” said Sue Spicer of Willard Park of Holy Cross Westminster Civic Alliance. “It would be a perfect focal point for youth outreach, a group that currently feels dissed with every project because none of them address their needs, their boredom, at least, within our zone.”

Spicer and partner Kay Grimm have created an alternative outdoor art display across the street from the ex-biker property with their “Land of The Misfits”, a scattering of tossed away toys arranged in a whimsical graffiti park setting.

Chickens peck at the dirt nearby as Spicer’s sheep graze on the once-Outlaws land.

“They mow,” said Spicer as Twistee and AP munched on the ground cover. “They are living breathing lawn mowers. They bring peace to the community.”

The urban livestock fit in the with women's goal of turning the near east side into a self-sustainable community with vacant lots turned into pocket farms and renewable home construction.

“People are all on board with this kind of stuff because really here in the hood we say, ‘Anything goes until you get caught,’” said Grimm. “(Zip code) 46201 could be the last great frontier of the city because someday there’s not going to be green spaces left and what we want to do here in Willard Park is preserve our green spaces, rehab existing house already, not do any rebuilds.”

Grimm and Spicer are in the process of crunching data to include in a presentation to the Hogsett administration about their vision for the east side where Super Bowl XLVI adopted Arsenal Technical High School and Angie’s List seeks to redevelop the East Washington Street corridor.