The Iron Order Motorcycle Club, the “law abiding,” three piece patch, gun toting, snitching, trouble making, motorcycle club led by an edgy, former Cinnabon executive, a bumpkin lawyer, a pogue lieutenant colonel, a thousand or so mentally disturbed cops and assorted other weekend tough guys has not yet harangued the murder of Black Piston Zachariah “Nas T” Tipton out of the historical record.
As of today, Tipton was still murdered following a blatantly staged and avoidable confrontation in one of the parking spaces that flank Hopson Road outside Nippers Beach Grille in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Jacksonville prosecutor Angela Corey still hasn’t figured out how to charge the shooter without drawing attention to the appalling incompetence and corruptness of the Jacksonville Beach police. And Derek Kinner has another 1,300 words about the case in today’s edition of Folio Magazine. You can read his full report here.
Kinner summarizes Tipton’s murder like this: “While many clubs have rules respecting others’ patches and colors, as well as territories, the Iron Order refuses to acknowledge those rules, and, many in the biker community say, use them to provoke altercations across the country. The indifference to the rules has led to many skirmishes since the Iron Order’s inception on July 4, 2004, but the shooting at Nippers has quickly become a watershed moment.”
Kinner says he has learned the name of the shooter in the case: “both through multiple sources familiar with the shooting and through a “Stored Vehicle Report” from the Jacksonville Beach Police Department that the magazine has obtained. (That report names the owner of a motorcycle that was towed from the scene as part of a homicide investigation.) The shooter is a medic stationed at Camp Blanding; like many other members and prospects of the Iron Order, he is affiliated with the military or law enforcement. The Stored Vehicle Report lists his address as being in Middleburg, though two sources say he moved immediately after the shooting out of concern for his safety. One source said the military assisted with the move.”
Camp Blanding Joint Training Center is a training base for the Florida National Guard and for certain members of the Army Reserve.
Kinner does not make a connection between the immediate relocation of the shooter and the job duties of international club officer Michael “Cgar” Couse. At the time of the shooting Crouse was the International Sergeant at Arms for the Iron Order. Crouse is now Vice-President of the club. Crouse is a Lieutenant Colonel assigned to the United States Army Reserve Command. He has described his duties there as: “…a Force Development Officer responsible for the full integration of all TDA and MTOE structure for the various 2 Star Commands. Conducts thorough analysis of the current and projected force structure and prepare options and recommendations to the current command.” In other words, Crouse reassigns soldiers. Crouse has previously used his staff position to identify, harass and threaten critics of the Iron Order who have served in the Army Reserve.
Kinner extensively quotes former club President Ray “Izod” Lubesky. According to Kinner, “Lubesky says he’s confident that when all the facts come out, the family and the public will understand what really happened that night. He says Iron Order members are sympathetic to Tipton’s family members, the real victims in the case.”
On July 6, ten days after Tipton’s murder, Lubesky told Iron Order members: “It is critical that all brothers follow our directions on what is said to everyone outside our club.”
“This is about crisis management at a time we are protecting our club, our prospect, and our brothers. This is our area of expertise. This is our responsibility. Your responsibility is to follow the sheet music, march to the drum and keep your mouths shut, both internally and externally. Only say what you are told to say. If you post something stupid on the forum, Facebook, Topix or any other social media we will take it down or tell you to take it down. This is not a time in our history we will be asking. Asking sinks ships and gets people hurt in times like this. Let us do our job.”
Apparently, washing and spin drying Tipton’s murder is still Lubesky’s responsibility. Kinner reports that current Iron Order President Patrick “Brit” Ward of West Palm Beach, Florida “did not return Folio Weekly’s phone calls.”