Detectives learned quickly that the known member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club’s Daytona Beach chapter, aka Christopher Keating, was likely killed by someone in the rival Pagan’s motorcycle club.
Police also knew Keating, 59, had a criminal history. He was killed during a fight near the doorway to an alley inside a bar.
Police have video of the incident and witnesses called 9-1-1, one of whom gave a vague description of the suspect.
Twelve months later, the case remains unsolved.
“We will be able to (solve it) one day,” Daytona Beach police Chief Craig Capri said. “This one will take time, but we’re working hard on it.”
At least one federal law enforcement agency is assisting in the investigation. Police spokeswoman Lyda Longa wouldn’t identify which.
When an ambulance showed up the night of April 3, 2017, at Crook’s Den, 126 Orange Ave., Keating was lying in the alley outside the rear door. His heart stopped after he got to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Detectives have said they don’t think Keating was armed when he was stabbed.
Witnesses told police that an “altercation” took place inside the bar involving Keating and two other men. Then, toward the rear of the bar the unrest continued and spilled into the alley. That, police said, is when Keating was stabbed.
The tussle in the caused damage to the bar and a water pipe that ran along the ceiling was nearly ripped down. The video from inside the bar was obtained by law enforcement and has never been released to the media.
One of the witnesses who called 9-1-1 said the man with the knife left on a motorcycle before police arrived. He was described as “bald.”
Keating lived in the Lake Ashby area near New Smyrna Beach. His run-ins with the law were long ago, according to court records. He was one of 14 who were arrested as part of a racketeering case by the federal government in 1983. The ensuing trial lasted a month and every defendant, except one, was convicted of various crimes. Keating was convicted of conspiracy and racketeering charges and served less than four years in prison.
All of the defendants were a member of the Outlaws MC, considered one of the largest motorcycle clubs in the world in terms of membership.
One of the witnesses at the trial 35 years ago told jurors she had been falsely accused of stealing drugs from the Outlaws. Her punishment was to be in a locked room with Keating, who beat her and threatened her with a gun, according to a Miami Herald story at the time.
Not long after Keating was killed, a person in Daytona Beach was found wearing a Hells Angels T-shirt. The Hells Angels is perhaps the best-known of outlaw motorcycle clubs and considered a bitter rival of the Outlaws. The man wearing the shirt found himself surrounded by Outlaws, who set out to intimidate him, police said.
Daytona Beach police Detective Iriabeth Lee said the Outlaws are the alpha motorcycle club throughout Florida. Any perceived invasion on the part of the Hells Angels is seen as a threat.
“If you know anything about the Hells Angels, you know they’re as big as the Outlaws and they don’t like them at all,” she said.
“From what I understand that guy was not a Hells Angel,” Lee continued. “He said that (the shirt) was given to him. He did not understand that was not allowed.”
No arrests were made in the incident.
Since then, there have been no public displays of unruly behavior by Outlaws or any other motorcycle club in or around Daytona Beach, but violence has erupted in other places across Florida during the past year and authorities have said that Outlaws have been challenging members of other motorcycle clubs to either join their ranks or submit to their dominance.
Last April, someone wearing a Kingsmen Motocycle Club jacket was shot in the back after he came out of a gas station in Leesburg. Police said he was killed because he refused to take off his jacket. The demand came from the Outlaws. They ordered him to his knees and held a knife to his throat. The Outlaws had set up a perimeter around the gas station. It was described as a “coordinated attack” by 15 members, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
In December, Paul Anderson, 44, was gunned down by two people while sitting in his pickup truck on State Road 54 near the Suncoast Parkway, according to the Pasco Sheriff’s Office. Three people were arrested in that killing. Deputies told the local media they were members of the 69ers Motorcycle Club.
Some motorcycle clubs make up the one kind of organized crime that has been exported out of the United States. Other forms have either been imported, as in the Sicilian Mafia, or homegrown and contained.
Members of some motorcycle clubs have committed murder, rape and other violent crimes and they have a history of degrading women and even killing children, said Charles Berard, a criminal investigator from Wisconsin who has studied outlaw motorcycle clubs for more than three decades.
“These are not people you want your kids to emulate,” Berard said.
“These are people that are dangerous and people that have a continuing commitment to crime in small communities and large communities.”
SOURCE: The News-Journal
Source: Biker Trash Network