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Monday, March 12, 2018

Video: Outlaws MC members caught on surveillance camera in bar beating

Bay City, MI (March 12, 2018) BTN — A bar's surveillance camera captured the moment an argument between patrons escalated into violence, when two men associated with the Outlaws Motorcycle Club beat and stomped another man.

The video was recorded in the Whyte Goose Inn, 108 State St., around 1 a.m. on Dec. 27. The Bay City Times-MLive obtained the footage from the Bay City Department of Public Safety after prosecutors played it in court during the March 6 preliminary examination of defendants Eric J. Kerkau, 46, and Arthur R. Miller, 33.

At the beginning of the silent video, 49-year-old Scott M. Peterson stands near the bar in the upper left corner of the frame. He is arguing with a man police have identified as Miller, who stands opposite him. A woman is between them, apparently trying to quell their dispute. Standing closer to Peterson and slightly behind him is a man police have said is Kerkau.

Miller puts a cigarette in his mouth, dons his coat, and walks out of the frame. A few moments later, as Peterson continues speaking with the woman who intervened in his dispute with Miller, Kerkau takes a few steps back, then quickly steps forward and twice punches Peterson in the head. The two begin scuffling as others move in to break them up.

As they grapple, Miller walks back into frame and yanks Peterson from behind. He knocks him to the ground and repeatedly knees him in the face. He and Kerkau then kick Peterson several times, with Miller stomping him at least twice. Peterson stays on the ground for the rest of the clip.

Police responded to the scene and Kerkau and Miller were both charged with a 10-year felony count of assault with intent to cause great bodily harm. Peterson testified in the March 6 hearing that the incident left him with injuries to his shoulder, knee and ribs. He suffered a slightly detached retina in his right eye, which has required two laser surgeries. He also required six staples to mend a wound in the back of his scalp, he said.

In that same hearing, bartender Ashley Schwartz said the three men had argued over a belief that Peterson had taken a photo of the two bikers on his cellphone.

During the dispute with Peterson, Miller had made comments about being "black and white" and that "nobody needs to have any black and white on their phones," Schwartz said.

"One gentlemen stood up, took his coat off, and tried to initiate a fight," Schwartz said, identifying this man as Miller. "I tried to stop it. The gentlemen that tried to initiate a fight tried to get Scott to come outside and fight him, but he would not go. The other gentleman (Kerkau) who was still in the bar ... took a few steps back and just sucker-punched (Peterson). It just proceeded from there."

Peterson denied having taken a photo of Kerkau or Miller.

Bay City Public Safety Officer Todd Armstrong testified he responded to the scene and recovered a necklace bearing a Black Pistons medallion. The Black Pistons is a support club of the Outlaws. Armstrong added that Kerkau's Facebook page featured references to his "black and white brothers."

Both defendants are free on bond and their trial dates are pending.