BIKERS’ PATCHES LED TO MULTIPLE GUN ARRESTS IN FT. WORTH
FORT WORTH – The Facebook post has come and gone since Monday afternoon, when it first appeared.
One of the cops working the Special Response Team for Ft. Worth Police who swooped on Wilson’s Leathers in the 2200 block of N. Main in the historic Stockyards District because members of Vagos Motorcycle Club were there shopping for rain gear had posted it, police officials ordered it be taken down, and various other Facebook patrons have re-posted it in the 24 hours since then.
The story is very straightforward. When the Vagos who got rousted walked into a downtown restaurant for breakfast on Sunday, they confronted a table full of relatives of the police woman who had participated in the bust as they dined over a leisurely brunch.
She was nervous, and kids in the dining party were scared by the reactions of the adults.
So the Vagos did what they could. They paid a $103 bill for the lady – and left – pronto.
“We even wrote ‘Thank you for your service’ on the receipt,” said an anonymous source.
It’s all part of a war of nerves playing out in the Stockyards, where police neighborhood resource officers phoned business owners on Friday, warning them of a biker rally of Mongols MC members taking place in Ft. Worth over the weekend.
Mongols are a Southern California club founded by Hispanic motorcycle enthusiasts that has spread to the Texas area.
They were rousted in an area bar and lounge earlier, but the main fireworks took place during the Saturday rush as bikers crowded into Wilson’s Leathers to have patches sewed on their cuts.
According to owner Jeff Wilson, a Sergeant who did not identify himself strutted up and down the floor, berating the Vagos, saying things like “If you guys think you are going to come out here and flex, and we won’t flex back, you’re wrong.”
The bikers promptly dubbed him Officer Steroids.
Said Wilson, “They were holding the doors closed and wouldn’t let people in or out…When I went outside to see what it was all about, I wasinstructed to get back inside.
What was happening outside was simple enough.
Two prospects, members who have not been fully initiated into the Motorcycle Club and are “prospecting” to be full patch holders, were watching the bikes parked at the curb.
When one got ready to go inside and try on rain gear he intended to buy and use to provide protection against the damp weather, he took his pistol out of the holster and handed it to another Vago to hold while he went inside the Wilson family’s place of business.
“Somebody called them (cops) and told them there was a Vago waving a gun around,” said a source close to the investigation.
That’s when the team invaded the leather shop without an arrest or search warrant and took over the retail store.
Said Gladys Wilson, Jeff Wilson’s mother, “That put a complete stop to any business we were doing.”
The Vagos, which is also a Southern California club with expansion chapters in Texas, were placed in the front leaning rest position against the wall, told to put their hands high and spread their legs while frisked.
One member was unable to reach high enough to satisfy Sgt. Steroids, and the officer promptly drew his weapon and covered him. The man explains in a video made of the incident as it occurred that he has a torn rotator cuff and finds it hard to hold his hands high while leaning forward against a wall.
Two of the Vagos were arrested for carrying a firearm, even though they had their valid license-to-carry documents to show.
As it turns out, the Special Response Team and elements of the Gang Task Force have made a ruling that if one displays the patch or colors of an “organized street gang,” they have not the right to carry a firearm, no matter what kind of documentation they may have.
According to the definition of such an outlawed organization in the Texas Penal Code, an outlaw street gang displays distinctive badges or colors, reports to a central authority, and engages in criminal activity.
Other examples of criminal activity, include the arrests of more of the bikers, including two from Wino’s Crew, because they failed to use their turn signals.
A source close to the investigation said that the Wino’s Crew members were placed in cuffs in a patrol car, then released as they others were transported for booking.
In those cases, the display of a green bandana prompted the streetside questioning and arrests, according to a source close to the investigation who could not speak on the record because he is not authorized to talk about the matter.
In another case, the police were frustrated in their search of a motorcycle with locked saddle bags, and they elected to break a hole in the bag in order to retrieve a firearm they had been informed was inside.
The lock was stripped from previous attempts to get at the gun, according to the source.
The source also alleged that two members of Kinfolk MC were cuffed and placed in patrol cars, then released before cavalcade proceeded to the windowless rooms in the casa de calaboose downtown.
Said on member of Vagos Motorcycle Club, “I have no criminal record and have never had one.”
In another incident alleged by the anonymous source, a motorcycle parked on shaky ground with its kickstand in an unsteady position tumbled to the shoulder of the road when a cop disregarded a request to be gentle.
“That’s not my problem,” he reportedly said as the machine crashed on the berm.
“All because we had a green bandana,” a biker said.
Mrs. Gladys Wilson said, “We’ve been here in business now for 38 years, and we have always backed the blue. Some of our closest friends work for the police department, but we didn’t recognize any of the men on this crew. We’re going to continue to back the blue,” she said as her son Jeff, her daughter and her husband all nodded their heads, “Yes.”
During a video interview of the family, Jeff Wilson recalled with tears glistening in his eyes, how his grand daughter, terrified of the pistol brandished by Sgt. Steroid, pleaded, “Please don’t shoot my Paw Paw or my Grandma! Please, don’t.”
As the shop opened for business on Tuesday morning, a Hells Angel from out of state messaged Wilson, saying, “It doesn’t matter what patch they’re wearing. It’s because we are members of clubs. We have to stand together for our rights.”
SGT. STEROIDS COVERS VAGO WEARING A GREEN BANDANA DURING AN IMPROMPTU SHAKEDOWN AT WILSON’S LEATHERS