Yesterday in Texas, the Reverend Matthew Hagee, Executive Pastor of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, described last Sunday’s Waco massacre and its aftermath, including “all of these arrests of rival biker gangs” as “a sign of the end times.” It might have been the most interesting thing anybody said about the massacre all day.
As of this morning, at least 170 people were in custody on $1 million bond each and charged with “Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity.” One of them is a woman.
“I think it is important to send a message,” the Honorable Walter H. “Pete” Peterson, Justice of the Peace for the First Precinct, who set the bail amount said. “We had nine people killed in our community. These people just came in and most of them were from out of town. Very few of them were from in town.”
Three of the accused “organized criminals” turned themselves in after they were released on lower bonds. Sergeant Patrick Swanton, who has been acting as the chief press ringmaster since Sunday, said “They were not mistakenly released.” The three men were arrested Sunday when they arrived at the crime scene after all the shooting had stopped wearing motorcycle club insignia. They were searched and, according to Swanton, were found to be “carrying weapons.” They are now also being held on $1 million bond. Swanton did not know where.
Swanton did not know how many of the 11 wounded men who were released from local hospitals yesterday had been arrested. He also did not know how many, if any, of the dead men had been killed by police. “Is it possible,” Swanton asked rhetorically. “Yes. Is it a fact? No, because the autopsies are not complete.”
Swanton seems committed to a version of events in which only four of the 22 police officers on scene discharged their weapons. He said yesterday that those four remained on duty. “Typically, our first concern is the welfare and mental health of those officers,” Swanton explained. But, “because of the high threat level … we kept them here.”
Olivia Messer reported in the Waco Tribune-Herald today that police “have found 1,000 weapons tucked into kitchen areas, vehicles and toilets” in the Twin Peaks restaurant.
Months Or Years
The New York Times reported that the local jail and court system is clogged up with arrestees and that the court cases “could drag on for months and even years.”
Tales abound of factually innocent bikers who are being presumed guilty until proven innocent.
A defendant named Jeff Battey was the first defendant to post bail Wednesday morning. Battey “has bullet fragments lodged in his arms,” according to his lawyer, Seth Sutton. “He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time like many others who are innocent yet being held under that bond.” Sutton told Houston television station KRIV. “Law enforcement authorities are saying that, in this short amount of time, they’ve already gathered probable cause that these 200 people have participated in a plot to commit capital murder. That’s difficult for us to believe.” Battey must wear an electronic ankle monitor while he awaits the chance to clear his name. He is currently being treated in a Dallas hospital.
The Associated Press reports that Theron Rhoten, a mechanic from Austin, an antique motorcycle enthusiast and a member of the Vice Grip Motorcycle Club was arrested with two club brothers when he arrived at the site of the Confederation of Clubs meeting after the shooting stopped. The Vice Grips build, repair and ride pre-1970 Harley-Davidson Big Twins.
A retired, San Antonio vice detective named Marty Lewis, is among the accused “organized criminals” trying to raise $1 million bail.
Published reports indicate that Waco and McLennan County could realize more than $3 million from the sale of motorcycles and cars seized at the crime scene.
Gator’s Jam Inn
Meanwhile, multiple news outlets including the Daily Beast have begun to connect the dots between the massacre in the Twin Peaks parking lot and a shooting in Gator’s Jam Inn in Forth Worth last December 12. Geoffrey Brady, a member of the Ghostriders Motorcycle Club was killed and within days three Bandidos, Robert Stover, Howard Wayne Baker and Nicholas Povendo were charged with his murder. The Daily Beast reporter, M.L. Nestel speculates, “It’s unclear whether the deadly brawl in Fort Worth directly led to Sunday’s bloody battle outside the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas—or whether the two incidents were just loosely connected in a longer gang war.”
Nestel quotes an unnamed police source as saying, “The Gator’s incident was one of many and it all has to do with colors. They want to make sure the Bandidos go down.”
You can read the complete Daily Beast article here.
At the time of the Gator’s shooting, a source with knowledge of the incident told The Aging Rebel, “There has been a truce between the Bandidos and the Banshees and their brother club, the Ghostriders, for several years…. In recent years, it has been very amicable in the Dallas – Forth Worth area to the point of hand shakes and friendly games of pool between the opposing clubs, which was absolutely unheard of before.”
“The Ghostrider who was killed was the kind of man who would defuse a situation, not aggravate it. It makes no sense for him to be the one who got shot unless he stepped in to calm people down.”
“I think the shit is about to get nasty down here,” the source said. “I believe it had to be started by a Fed or some sort of agent provocateur. Too many inroads to a peaceful coexistence have happened for this to be anything else.”
The Aging Rebel investigated the incident but was unable to confirm that a federal investigation involving the Bandidos was underway.