By John Cardillo
WACO • Police and federal agents armed with automatic weapons brutally gunned down a group of motorcyclists as they congregated with friends outside a popular local restaurant on Sunday.
Witnesses say the men, members of the recreational motorcycle clubs The Banditos and The Cossacks had met at the Twin Peaks restaurant after leaving church to discuss how the two groups might work together to better the community when several members got into a friendly argument over business. It was then witnesses say that Waco Police joined by Texas State Troopers, ATF, and FBI agents swarmed the parking lot and began shooting, leaving nine dead and 18 others severely wounded.
Family members of one of the dead men, affectionately known as Crunch said that he was a former high school football star, honor student, and aspiring rock musician. While they acknowledged that Crunch had problems with drugs, human trafficking, extortion, meth distribution, and weapons smuggling in the past, his mother told me that he and his friends were good boys who were finally turning their lives around. She went on to say that he planned to attend community college in the fall. Crunch was 47 years old.
Crunch’s girlfriend who friends called his “old lady” refused to be identified but told me that because of the actions of police, she would now have to find another “patched in” member to “own her.” She went on to say, “I hope it won’t be one who beats on me or lends me out to his friends cause Crunch was real nice like that. He only beat on me when he was real high and only lent me to his real close friends but only when they was partyin’.” She further blamed police for her predicament saying, “Thanks to them pigs, at this age I might have to start bangin’ a prospect.”
Other members of the club said that police often harassed them on their weekend rides and frequently raided their clubhouse without warning or probable cause.
A Bandito member who would only identify himself as “Mongo” said, “It ain’t right. Just because we deal a little meth, run whores, and have swastika neck tatts, them fuckin’ cops think they can follow us around and profile us. This here’s a free country and we gotta do what we gotta do to make us the rent.”
Waco Police claim that the men were members of a criminal enterprise known as an OMG or Outlaw Motorcycle Gang, and that “church” is what Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs call their weekly meetings to discuss illegal activities. However local city councilman Ray “Crotch Rot” Jenkins disputed that account and said the men were just gregarious “boys being boys.”
Jenkins moved his braided pony tail behind his back, took a long drag of his hand rolled cigarette, blew the smoke in my face and said, “these pigs been up in our shit since that homo Thompson wrote that shitty book about them other homos,” in reference to Hunter S. Thompson’s “Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga.” Jenkins maintained that he had no ties to any of the clubs in question and was simply trying to keep his community safe from police aggression and profiling.
This shooting is just the latest in a string of brutality and murder committed by US law enforcement agencies. Texas Governor Greg Abbott, the state’s former Attorney General who mercilessly persecuted motorcycle clubs during his time as a prosecutor refused my request for comment.