There is something happening in Battle Creek. What it is ain’t exactly clear.
It sounds like a cabal of rogue ATF agents is running amok in the breakfast cereal capital. That wouldn’t exactly be unprecedented. During Operation 22 Green undercover agents staged a mock gunfight on the Sunset Strip. Maybe the police state pogues who think George Rowe is an American success story will include that episode in their forthcoming stallion pile based on Rowe’s memoir, Gods of Mischief. Probably not. But, back to Battle Creek.
For days the press in Southern Michigan has been cheerleading what now turns out to be an imaginary biker war between the Avengers Motorcycle Club and the American Outlaws Association. Sunday morning the Battle Creek Enquirer reported: “Battle Creek police said Saturday they were called about 11:20 p.m. Friday by the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department about a fight in the 700 block of North 20th Street between members of the Outlaws and the Avengers motorcycle clubs and involving guns, pipes and bats.”
The kind of gutless Detroit News wanted to report the big, breaking biker war but didn’t have time to verify what it wanted to say so it managed to choke out, “Police say members of the Outlaws and Avengers reportedly were fighting late Friday night in Battle Creek, southeast of Grand Rapids.” Of course it “reportedly” happened. The News reported it.
Wait There’s More
The Battle Creek paper also reported that four “members of the Avengers” from North Carolina were stopped and arrested when found to be in possession of “six handguns, two shotguns, knives, Mace, an assault rifle magazine, ammunition and marijuana.”
Sunday night, “two people” went to the rear of the Avengers Battle Creek clubhouse and threw a Molotov cocktail at it. Damage was minimal. The Enquirer said police were “investigating whether the fire at the Avengers property was retaliation for the assault and fight on Friday.”
Monday, the Battle Creek Police Department issued a press release that announced “the Calhoun County Major Crimes Task Force has been activated to streamline the investigation” of the fight and the fire. “The Calhoun County Major Crimes Task Force is comprised of all Calhoun County law enforcement agencies.”
Or Maybe Less
Yesterday the biker war story began to collapse under its own weight. There was no fight between Avengers and Outlaws. Five members of a “Christian club” called the “Southwest Cycle Club” were sitting in their clubhouse in Springfield, Michigan playing cards when about 40 men surrounded the building. Between 15 and 25 of them pushed their way inside, beat the occupants, stole their vests and $500 and said, “We own Battle Creek. It is our town. That is what happens if we have a motorcycle club in Battle Creek.” The Southwest Cycle Club is not affiliated with the American Outlaws Association in any way but they are members of the Michigan Confederation of Clubs.
Matthew McMurtrie, president of the Southwest Cycle Club, denied his club had anything to do with the arson.
An attorney for the Outlaws told the Enquirer “The Outlaws are very upset and angry about it. They have no affiliation with that club. There is no affiliation.”
Last night Grand Rapids television station WXMI reported, “A party at the Outlaw Clubhouse on 20th Street, which is now being called the Southwest Cycle Club by the group’s president, turned into a bloody brawl Friday evening.”
“And 48 hours later, a firebomb went off at a competing motorcycle club,” the Fox affiliate reported. “Police we spoke with believe these two incidents might be connected.”
Although, in its press release yesterday the Battle Creek Police said, “We believe these incidents to be isolated in nature.”
Quick, for a full scholarship to journalism school, isolated is to connected as….
This morning, radio station WTVB in Coldwater, Michigan reported, “Members of the Southwest Cycle Club claim they are a Christian Group that does good deeds for the community. They claim they were assaulted by members of the Avengers Motorcycle Club with bats and pipes Friday night.”
They probably even claim that the men who invaded their clubhouse were not rogue ATF agents.
This is one of those zombie stories that is just not going to die.