In 1977, Wayne Big Chuck Bradshaw was Jersey tough. He was a member of the outlaw Pagans bike gang, a One Percenter, and had earned his colors in a world of boozing, bloody bar fights, and high-stakes crime. Read more...
In 1977, Wayne Big Chuck Bradshaw was Jersey tough. He was a member of the outlaw Pagans bike gang, a One Percenter, and had earned his colors in a world of boozing, bloody bar fights, and high-stakes crime. But after getting too close to extreme violence, Bradshaw made the life-threatening decision to change his path.
The toughness Bradshaw used to survive biker life led him to a distinguished and heroic career as an undercover narcotics officer for the same New Jersey police department that had once arrested him. Bradshaw tells his story with the truth of the streets, from his time in the U.S. Army to his decision to join the Pagans, to the wild adventures of working narcotic stings. He rode with truly dangerous criminals and then returned to those same places as a cop. He tracks down fugitives in Jersey s toughest neighborhoods, risks his life rescuing dozens from a fire in a seniors residence, and volunteers in the aftermath of 9/11.
"Jersey Tough" is an unflinching memoir of personal struggle, of battling with darkness, and ultimately of redemption.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-02-22
- Reviewer: Staff
In this immensely entertaining memoir, Bradshaw chronicles his path from violence to redemption on the gritty streets of Asbury Park, N.J., during the cocaine-fueled 1970s and '80s. Bradshaw went from being a ruthless enforcer for the Pagans Motorcycle Club gang to prosecuting those same bikers and other criminals as an undercover police officer. "The undercover persona I selected came naturally," Bradshaw writes. "I knew that drill because I'd lived it... and I'd stick with the same Jersey tough attitude I already had." Bradshaw's book spans his life in 35 chapters. He first saw violence in the U.S. Army (where he once pummeled a guy's face over a bottle of wine). Upon leaving the military, he fell in with the Jersey Shore Pagans and spent his time relieving rival gang members of their drugs and their teeth. Bradshaw's redemption came when he left the gang and biker lifestyle, found a new path that led to becoming a police officer, and then went undercover for the Monmouth County Narcotics Task Force, staring down many a drug dealer's gun barrel. This fascinating book is true-crime writing at its best and will appeal to anyone interested in the sordid dealings of America's criminal underworlds. (Mar.)