St. George, the biggest, little town in the part of Utah called Dixie, is determined not to be raped or looted or by marauding bikers. The city’s police force also must justify its $12.3 million annual budget.
“We’re kind of…best word I can think of is a shiny pearl to these clubs that they would want to get a foothold in St. George,” a police propagandist named David Williams told Salt Lake City television station KTVX.
Of course. All that stands in the way of murderous psychopaths getting “a foothold in St. George” is the police. Pay them and there ain’t gonna be no problem. Say no and they may be forced to withdraw to a perimeter around a lawless zone, as the Hollister, California police threatened to do a few years ago unless that city came up with $300,000 for overtime during the lucrative, annual commemoration of the Hollister Riot. Or, as the Waco police did last year at the Twin Peaks.
The police have had St. George in panic mode since August 24, 2014 when a dozen members of the Eastside Motorcycle Club and the Legion Motorcycle Club allegedly attacked two men who had been standing in the parking lot of The One and Only bar in St. George mocking the two clubs. One of the victims was stabbed in the armpit.
The Biker Riot
The incident was investigated for four months by the St. George Fraudulent Identity and Security Threat task force. Witnesses told FIST (yes, they call themselves FIST) investigators that one of the assailants had yelled “Eastside, let’s roll” after which according to St. Goerge FIST biker investigator Aaron Bergquist, “the altercation broke up, club members left on their motorcycles, and (the stabbing victim) was taken to the hospital.”
Bergquist determined that the Eastsiders were an “organized crime group” because “Some members of the motorcycle clubs acted in concert with each other and engaged in violent and tumultuous behavior that resulted in a victim being stabbed and suffering bodily injury.”
The suspects were then arrested by representatives of St. George FIST, the Washington County Sherriff’s Office, the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Marshals Service and charged with rioting. Police continued to identify the men as “gang members until a preliminary hearing this February when Judge Jeffrey Wilcox told Bergquist to stop saying “gang” in court. The judge didn’t rule that television reporters couldn’t say the word.
Voila! There was still a jury pool to be poisoned and KTVX was willing to step up. The station reported that “every major outlaw motorcycle club in the country wants to start chapters in St. George;” that the brawl at The One and Only was between “alleged motorcycle members of rival gangs;” and that local police were “putting the heat on club members, citing them for minor violations.”
Have there been any biker riots in St. George recently? See what a great job the police are doing.
“We try to make ourselves a hard target,” Williams told reporter/anchor/prairie wear model Hailey Higgins. “That they don’t want to be here. They realize they are getting police attention, they know we are watching so they want to move on.”
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, St. George was the Fifth Safest Metropolitan Area in the West in 2015 with one murder and a statistically adjusted crime rate of 141 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. St. George has a population of about 77.000.
KTVX reported that “the city’s close location to Las Vegas and I-15 make it prime real estate for outlaw motorcycle clubs.” St. George is about 120 miles from Las Vegas. Vegas, according to the FBI, is the fifteenth most dangerous Metropolitan Area in America ranking just behind Fairbanks, Alaska.
Oh, and the other thing you need to know about this story is that the City of St. George will be setting its budget for next year in about another two weeks.