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Defenders Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club opens Mason-Dixon Chapter

April 06, 2013|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • New Maryland chapter president Scott Leeney, right, slips a new leather vest onto new member Brad Creek. The Defenders Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club held an opening ceremony for the new chapter of riders made up of mostly law enforcement workers.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

When you see Hammerhead, Ox, Hardcore and the rest of the Defenders rumbling through your town, just remember this: They aren’t looking to make trouble.

Because most of them are police officers and first responders, their day jobs usually involve putting an end to trouble.

Seven members and an associate of the Defenders Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club’s 56th and newest chapter, the Mason-Dixon Chapter, donned their colors and mounted their Harleys on Saturday for a ride through the county. Fifty or more defenders from a dozen clubs in seven states rode along as they started out with a police escort from the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center on Dual Highway.

National Vice President Patrick “Chubbs” Lawson, a founding member of the Defenders, said the club broke off from another group in 2004 and since has grown to those 56 chapters with more than 1,500 members.

“We’re not trying to be the biggest club, but we’re definitely the best,” Lawson said before helping Mason-Dixon President Scott “Hammerhead” Leeney put on his leather vest.

Leeney is a member of the Hagerstown Police Department, as is Jon “Ox” Molineaux and Mike “Panda” Kovac. Kovac’s nickname has something to do with “Kung-Fu Panda” and his kicking down a door, Leeney told the Defenders assembled at the hotel.

Shawn “S Daddy” Tasker is a member of the Hancock Police Department, and Brad “Nubbs” Creek is with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Jaysen “Hardcore” Cochran is a 10-year member of the Maugansville Goodwill Volunteer Fire Department, and his street name comes from his old-school style: He rides long and eschews hotels, preferring to sleep outside next to his motorcycle on his extended journeys.

“I’m the one civilian in our group, and I’m really honored to ride with your guys,” Greg “GM” Monica said. Monica is an engineer, but he’s been a motorcyclist for 35 years.

The Defenders are an all-male club, but it has female associates. Kovac’s wife, Heather “Crazy Girl” Kovac, got her colors Saturday. Another associate, Heather “Monday” Myers, was unable to attend the ceremony, Leeney said.

Leeney said he used to be with a West Virginia chapter of the club, but figured there was enough interest in Western Maryland for it to have its own chapter.

“We don’t go out and do burnouts ... in public,” Lawson said of the Defenders’ good-guys reputation. “We ride motorcycles and we help people. Just like law enforcement.”

Club chapters usually come up with one or more charitable causes to help with, whether raising money to fight breast cancer, or an individual in a community in need of help, Lawson said.

Riding with Molineaux was Amy Taylor-Heimberg, who might seem out of place with the group, considering their occupations.

“I’m the real defender here,” Taylor-Heimberg said.

She does, in fact, represent people who have attracted the wrong kind of attention from police — as an assistant public defender in Washington County.

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