The war on Outlaws clubhouses continues – against all reason; this time because a good way to get your name in the paper is to present yourself as a crusader in the increasingly ridiculous war on bikers.
In Illinois, a crackpot Methodist minister named Leona Tichenor, who has been the pastor of the Ingalls Park United Methodist Church on East Washington Street for 34 months, wants the city of Joliet to take the American Outlaws Association’s Joliet chapter clubhouse – and the Outlaws have had a clubhouse on East Washington Street for at least 20 years – by eminent domain.
Tichenor got her name in the Chicago Tribune last week. She told a guy named Gregory Tejeda that “the motorcycle club scares parents away from bringing their young children” to an adjacent park. “It’s not that there’s a record of (the Outlaws) engaging in bad behavior,” Tichenor told the Tribune. “It’s more that it’s an intimidating presence that people have to walk past when they enter the park.”
According to Glen Marcum, a spokesman for the Joliet Park District, the clubhouse has been in its present location, next to Barr Park for about as long as Tichenor has been assign to her church.
Oh No Charlie
The Tribune also notices that “The Outlaws’ logo of a skull and crossed pistons, along with the slogan ‘God forgives, Outlaws don’t,’ are posted on the exterior of the clubhouse.”
Tichenor graciously acknowledges that in the United States, at least for the time being, the motorcycle club enjoys “the freedom of speech to post their logo on the clubhouse, no matter how ominous it is.”
Tichenor is crashing her cymbols now because the city recently announced plans to renovate Barr Park. Upgrades would include new equipment and playground mats. Tichenor wants to deny the neighborhood those improvements until the Outlaws go away.
The clubhouse and the park are both five blocks from the church.
According to Marcum, there have been no incidents between neighborhood residents and club members.
One anonymous resident interviewed by Tejeda told the reporter club members “mind their own business.”
Marcum told the Tribune the city does not have the money to buy the clubhouse and that the Reverend Tichenor’s concerns “are not shared by the neighborhood.”
But the Tribune spelled Tichenor’s name right, anyway.