This story was published on May 17 and corrected on May 18 when the president of the Sons of the South Motorcycle Club protested that no members of his club attened the COCI meeting. The story was revised again on June 6 when The Associated Press reported an eyewitness account of the Waco Massacre from a member of the Sons of the South MC. The Aging Rebel regrets the confusion.
A shoving match in a bathroom at a Confederation of Clubs meeting in Waco, Texas exploded into a war yesterday. Nine people were killed, 27 people were injured, 17 were hospitalized, two are listed in critical condition, and 160 men were arrested following a brawl at a chain restaurant in a shopping center on the South Jack Kultgen Espressway.
The fight resulted from a long simmering dispute between members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club and the Cossacks and the Scimitars Motorcycle Clubs. Curtis Jack Lewis, president of the Abilene chapter of the Bandidos, and Wesley Dale Mason, the chapters’ sergeant at arms, were accused of stabbing two Cossacks outside Logan’s Roadhouse in Abilene in November 2013. The two Bandidos were charged with aggravated assault in March 2014. The Scimitars are in the process of patching over to the Cossacks.
Other clubs in attendance at the Sunday brunch included the Sons of the South MC, Blackett Arms MC, Gypsy MC, HonorBound Motorcycle Ministry, Renatus MC, Escondidos MC, Los Pirados MC, Leathernecks MC, Vietnam Vets/Legacy Vets MC, In Country MC and the Tornado Motorcycle Club.
All of the arrestees are being charged under Title 11, Section 71.02, a draconian Texas law titled “Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity.” According to that law, “A person commits an offense if, with the intent to establish, maintain, or participate in a combination or in the profits of a combination or as a member of a criminal street gang, the person commits or conspires to commit one or more of” most of the acts that are illegal in Texas: Including possession of small amounts of marijuana, transporting a firearm, and possession of banned weapons like brass knuckles and butterfly knives. Police seized about a hundred weapons at the crime scene
Sergeant Patrick Swanton, a spokesman for the Waco Police Department, called the attendees. “A bunch of criminal element biker members that came to Waco and tried to instill violence into our community and unfortunately did just that…. This is not a bunch of doctors and dentists and lawyers riding Harleys. These are criminals on Harley-Davidsons.”
The Restaurant Did It
The Texas Region One COC and Independents meeting was scheduled to begin at one p.m. The fight began about 12:15. Local police had urged the restaurant, a Hooters knock-off called Twin Peaks, to refuse service to bikers. Waco police claim the violence could have prevented if Jay Patel, the operating partner at the independently owned Waco franchise, had simply banned the Confederation of Clubs from meeting there. In a statement Sunday, Patel said “our management team had had ongoing and positive communications with the police.”
Sergeant Swanton said, “What occurred here today is the worst-case scenario when a business owner puts profit over human lives. It’s sad. This could have all been avoided.”
The restaurant has been sponsoring a bike night on Thursdays. Local police have been trying to convince the management to stop that, too. It is legal in Texas, as it is in most states, to ban the display of motorcycle club patches in public establishments. “They were aware that there were issues here,” Swanton said. “It was local management here. We told them of the issues, we tried to get assistance in reference to dealing with these crowds but they would not cooperate.”
Today, Front Burner Restaurants, which owns the Twin Peaks chain, announced it was cancelling the Waco restaurant’s franchise agreement.
“We are in the people business and the safety of the employees and guests in our restaurants is priority one,” the announcement said.
“Unfortunately the management team of the franchised restaurant in Waco chose to ignore the warnings and advice from both the police and our company, and did not uphold the high security standards we have in place to ensure everyone is safe at our restaurants.
“We will not tolerate the actions of this relatively new franchisee and are revoking their franchise agreement immediately. Our sympathies continue to be with the families of those who died and are very thankful no employees, guests, police officers or bystanders were hurt or injured.”
Swanton said, “That’s a good thing for law enforcement here. That is one issue that we don’t have to worry about – people coming in and creating another incident after the tragic incident we had last night.”
When the restaurant refused to ban the Confederation of Clubs, police stationed at least 22 cops including ten Swat officers from the Waco P.D. and the Texas Department of Public Safety in the parking lot outside the restaurant. They did not station either uniformed or plain clothes officers in the restaurant.
The shove in the bathroom became a scuffle in the restaurant. When about 30 Bandidos, Cossacks, Scimitars and other bikers spilled into the parking between the Twin peaks and the Don Carlos Mexican restaurant next door, the police were waiting for them. The scuffle became a knife fight and several men were stabbed. When one of the combatants produced a gun the Swat team opened fire with automatic weapons. Multiple sources have told The Aging Rebel that all of the dead were killed by police.
Swanton said the fusillade “saved lives in keeping this from spilling into a very busy Sunday morning. Thank goodness the officers were here and took the action that they needed to take to save numerous lives.”
The investigation into the massacre is being supervised by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Since the massacre, police have announced that there is “credible information about threats toward law enforcement.” Waco police issued a bulletin at 10:13 Sunday night that announced: “Our agency has recieved (sic) information that the Cosaks (sic) and Banditos (sic) have issued an order to kill anyone in uniform.”