Animal Rights

Hells Angels Boss Frank Hanebuth Faces Charges for Brutal Dog Attacks

| by Denise A Justin

Hanover, Germany-- Hells Angels' boss Frank Hanebuth admits he owns the two German Shepherds that viciously attacked five people in Lower Saxony on September 9, 2011.  Authorities are still investigating how the dogs got out of Hanebuth’s heavily secured property.

The dogs had been running loose in the Wedemark district on Thursday evening, according to reports. Their first victim was a 33-year-old male pedestrian who was bitten on the hand. A witness tried to help but was also attacked by the two large dogs, according to

Then a 44-year old woman driving down the street saw the dogs and thought they were strays. When she stopped and attempted to rescue them, both dogs jumped on her and inflicted serious injuries. reports that her two children (seven and twelve years old) were in the car and watched in shock.

A 68-year-old man who saw the attack and tried to help the injured woman became another victim. A helicopter later airlifted the woman to a hospital. The man was seriously wounded, but neither faces life-threatening injuries, according to a Pressemappe by the Hanover Police Department. edition

As two police officers responded to the scene, one of them was also attacked.  The

officers then shot and killed the dogs. “The measure was necessary to prevent the ‘completely unpredictable’ animals from posing a further danger to the public,” police officials stated.   

On Friday, Frank Hanebuth, the 46-year-old leader of Hannover’s Hells Angels, turned himself in at the police station and accepted responsibility for the attacks. 

Hanebuth stated that the dogs had been “trained” and said they had never bitten anyone before.  In a newspaper interview Hanebuth publicly apologized and stated to NeuePresse, “It was a terrible accident. I hugely regret what happened to the victims. It is absolutely clear that I will use all the means at my disposal to take responsibility for the incident.”

Hanebuth could be charged with bodily injury caused by negligence or with the more serious charge of grievous bodily harm, his lawyer told the Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung

The dogs were microchipped but the chips were not registered with the local police as required, according to officials. The dogs were later described as a German Shepherd and a Belgian Malinois named “Benta" and "Ossi.” Because the dogs had been trained to bite and were either allowed to, or able to, escape a secure area, Hanebuth could be facing charges of aggravated assault by omission, according to the Hanover Police Department.  Conviction could result in up to ten years in prison.

Hanebuth told, “I cannot explain the behavior of my dogs.” He said they had never bitten anyone before.  Hanebuth also said that the dogs had been trained as “dogs of duty” by an expert and  they had successfully completed all tests.

Hans Joachim Hackbarth, director of the Institute for Animal Welfare and Behaviour, said in an interview with NDR-TV on September 9, "[The dogs] ... ... have done what you have taught them--to attack anything that moves and to bite whomever gets in the way.”

During the 1980’s Frank Hanebuth was a heavyweight boxer and also a leader of the Hanoverian MC Bones, at that time Germany’s largest motorcycle club. He reportedly controls the Stone Gate red-light district in Hanover. In 1999 he was instrumental in connecting the Bones to the Hells Angels and later became president of the Hanover Hells Angels Charters.

In a May 2010 article entitled, The Network of Hells Angels, Christine Kroeger writes, “Nowhere in Germany are the Hells Angels as powerful as in Hanover…” (Times Online, Weser-Kurier, 05.20.2010.)