Biker Gang Violence

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by Tony BIanchini

On Sunday, May 17th, two biker gangs, the Bandidos and the Cossacks, got into a little scuffle over what police believe to be a territory dispute. The fight between the two gangs started at a restaurant in Waco, Texas; the fight quickly escalated from a fist fight, to a knife fight, to a gunfight. Eighteen people were hospitalized (all bikers), nine killed, and nearly 170 were arrested.  Police returned fire on the bikers after being shot at. Four bikers were killed by police fire.

“The Bandidos are the biggest motorcycle gang in Texas, and they don’t allow other motorcycle gangs to enter that state. They will allow other motorcycles clubs to exist, but they’re not allowed to wear that state bottom rocker. If they do, they face the onslaught of the Bandidos,” said informant Charles Flaco.

The Cossacks thought that they were big enough to wear the Texas Bottom Rocker, thus starting a war between the two gangs.

“As long as they both exist there will be war between them” said Flaco.

On April 7th the FBI received information that 100 Bandidos planned to travel down to Odessa, Texas, in early April to start a war. On April 24th the FBI released a report that there had been 3 recent fights between the two gangs in east Texas.

This past Sunday a memo went out to Texas law enforcement that members of both gangs had been told to get armed and head to north Texas.

In wake of this, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told CNN’s Anderson Cooper; “Obviously it’s something we’re concerned about. We would encourage biker groups to stand down. There’s been enough bloodshed. There’s been enough death here,”.

The police have released the mugshots of the 170 bikers,  bail for each of them is set at 1 million dollars.

FILE - In this May 17, 2015 file photo, a McLennan County deputy stands guard near a group of bikers in the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas. The prevailing images of protests in Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, over police killings of black men were of police in riot gear, handcuffed protesters, tear gas and mass arrests. The main images of a fatal gun battle between armed bikers and police in Waco, Texas, also showed mass arrests _ carried out by nonchalant-looking officers sitting around calm bikers on cell phones. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)
FILE – In this May 17, 2015 file photo, a McLennan County deputy stands guard near a group of bikers in the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas. The prevailing images of protests in Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, over police killings of black men were of police in riot gear, handcuffed protesters, tear gas and mass arrests. The main images of a fatal gun battle between armed bikers and police in Waco, Texas, also showed mass arrests _ carried out by nonchalant-looking officers sitting around calm bikers on cell phones. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)