Sunday, January 31, 2016

Mongols MC "Iron Order started it"

 Update on Deadly Encounter between Mongols MC and the Iron Order

Mongols MC says "Iron Order started it"

Members of two rival motorcycle clubs involved in a shootout at the Colorado Motorcycle Expo Saturday in which one person was killed and seven others were injured are pointing the fingers of blame at each other.

Stephen Stubbs, an attorney for the Mongols Motorcycle Club, says members of the Iron Order Motorcycle Club — which is predominately made up of police officers — taunted Mongols into an argument and then escalated to violence that led to the fatal shooting of a Mongols member.

"The Iron Order are cowards," Stubbs said Sunday. "The Iron Order started an argument. An Iron Order member threw the first punch. And when they were handily losing the fight they pulled out a gun and shot a Mongol. The only person who died here was shot by a member of the cop club."

But a lawyer for the Iron Order Motorcycle Club said Sunday the shootout that left one person dead and seven hospitalized may have started when three members were jumped by members of one or more biker clubs.

John C. Whitfield, the lawyer who is also a club member, confirmed that Iron Order members include police officers, military members, and other law abiding citizens.

Vince Bohm, who identified himself as a member of the Mongols Motorcycle Club, said that an off-duty police officer fatally shot a Mongol.Whitfield said a Colorado Department of Corrections officer did fire a shot during the incident, but he didn't know if that bullet hit any Mongols.

Stubbs, Bohm and Whitfield did not personally witness Saturday's brawl at the 38th annual motorcycle expo, but relayed what they heard from numerous members of the two clubs.

A large number of the Mongols, a biker club whose website advises that they are "the baddest motorcycle club known worldwide," were at the expo. Members of other outlaw motorcycle clubss including the Bandidos, Hells Angels and Sons of Silence also were there.

Stubbs claims that the Iron Order likewise identifies itself as an outlaw motorcycle club, because it uses three patches to identify different ranks of members.

"They are known for picking fights and being jerks," he said. "It was a fair fight until the Iron Order member pulled out a gun. For them to come out and play the victim when they picked the fight is outrageous. They are a bunch of cops who say the rules of society don't apply to them."

Members of the Mongols pulled out guns only to protect themselves when they were fired upon, he said. He said the Iron Order member was handcuffed and taken to the police station to be questioned.

"Even Mongols have a right to defend themselves," Stubbs said.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

1 Dead & Multiple injured at Denver Motorcycle Expo

 Denver Police escorted a man in handcuffs away from the National Western Stock Show. 

  •  One person dead after shooting and stabbing incident at the National Western Complex
  •  Denver Police Chief Robert White said at an evening news conference that four people were shot and one person was stabbed 
  • Witnesses said the shooting was between two rival biker clubs, the Mongols and the Iron Order
  • Nine people have been taken to the hospital, medical officials said 
  • Emergency room has been placed on lock down in response to shooting 
  • Dr. Kevin McVaney of Denver Health Medical Center said six people were admitted to the hospital -three in critical condition and three are stable
  •  Denver Police Chief Robert White said that no arrests have been made, but a person of interest in connection with the incident is being questioned. He also would not name the motorcycle clubs involved

DENVER, CO - January 30 - At least one person was killed after a shooting/stabbing melee Saturday afternoon at the National Western complex. Denver Health tweeted shortly before 2 p.m. that nine people had been transported to area hospitals. The fight broke out between the Iron Order and the Mongols MC.

At a 3:30 p.m. news briefing, the hospital said 7 patients were brought in after the shooting. One died, three are critical and three are stable.

Bob Cook witnessed the shooting. His booth for Quarterchaps, a leather goods company was located across from where the shooting happened. He heard two shots fired and saw people dive under tables. He didn't hear any arguments before the shooting and doesn't know what may have prompted it.

He said there were puddles of blood on the floor, but minutes later, the scene returned to normal. "Everyone is so desensitized," he said as he pointed to dried blood on the floor that people were walking over.

A man gestures towards the media gathered outside of the National Western Stock Show Complex 

Britney Shaw was working at a jewelry stand when she saw a group of about 50 men brawling on the stairs, which are now covered in blood and cordoned off.

Denver Health Medical Center put its campus on a precautionary lockdown to ensure patient and visitor safety. There have been no threats made to the hospital. One officer on duty there has a semi-automatic rifle slung over his shoulder. ER doctor Kevin McVaney said the hospital was able to handle the emergency. "We are very prepared for this number of trauma patients." All seven arrived via ambulance and no other injured parties are expected.

Denver Health encouraged people who don't have a specific need to come to the hospital to avoid the campus.

The 38th Annual Colorado Motorcycle Expo is being held this weekend at National Western complex.

Raquel Lopez, Denver police spokeswoman, said the disturbance happened at 12:48 p.m. Multiple shots were fired and at least one person was stabbed. No arrests have been made.

Several men were escorted to an awaiting RTD bus at the National Western Stock Show Complex.

One witness, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation, said the feud was started by rival biker clubs. Police filled the parking lot. People who left the show and crossed the police tape are not being allowed back into the building.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Outlaws MC still seeks return of Leather Vests

 The vests worn by the Outlaws MC will be held as contraband, a McHenry County judge ruled
 Photo: McHenry County Sheriff's Office

CHICAGO, ILL 1/26/2016
The Outlaws Motorcycle Club has not backed down in its effort to get authorities to return leather vests and patches that were seized after a 2012 bar fight. After failing to persuade a McHenry County judge last year to return the gear, club lawyer Joel Rabb argued his case Tuesday in front of the 2nd District Appellate Court in Elgin.

McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather had ruled that vests were "contraband" that were used "to facilitate street gang activity." People affiliated with the Outlaws — which Rabb has said is a civic organization, not a gang — wore the vests when they instigated a brutal attack on patrons at the Lizard Lounge outside Wonder Lake, leading to charges against several members.

Four members who were arrested later pleaded guilty to various charges and, as part of their plea deals, forfeited their motorcycle vests. Rabb said one of the vests was returned, which he said shows rightful ownership and should prompt the return of the other three.

He said it's the club patches on the vests, rather than the vests themselves, that members most want back. He argued that the patches were wrongly seized because they belong to the club, not the individual members, and that a piece of clothing cannot be compared to guns or cars that can be confiscated if used to facilitate crime.

Photo: McHenry County Sheriff's Office

When witnesses and victims testified about the bar fight, "nobody stated they felt uncomfortable because of the leather patches," Rabb said. Appellate Judge Michael Burke pointed out that the gang is known to "have a reputation" for criminal activity.

Rabb said members of the club, also known as the American Outlaw Association, are a "microcosm" of all types of people.

"There is good, there is bad, there is ugly," he said, adding that the club's reputation has been skewed by reality TV and the movies.

"Each member stands alone," he said. "Simply being a member of the Outlaws is not a crime."

Judge Mary Seminara-Schostok asked why the return of the patches was so important.

Rabb said they convey "a certain level of pride" for Outlaw members and contended that confiscating them is a violation of free speech rights.

Wounded Warrior Project Wasting Money

Wounded Warrior Project accused of wasting donor money: ‘It just makes me sick’

Dozens of former Wounded Warrior Project employees have accused the charity of needlessly spending millions of dollars in donations on lavish conferences and parties.

In 2014 alone, the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) received more than $300 million in donations, yet it only spent roughly 60 percent of that on vets, CBS News reported. Other respected charities for wounded veterans, like the Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust and Fisher House, reportedly spent more than 90 percent of their donations on vets.

CBS News spoke to more than 40 former WWP employees who accused the charity of out-of-control spending.

“Their mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors, but what the public doesn’t see is how they spend their money,” said Army Staff Sgt. Erick Millette, who recently quit as a public speaker with WWP. “You’re using our injuries, our darkest days, our hardships, to make money. So you can have these big parties.”

Spending on conferences and meetings went from $1.7 million in 2010, to $26 million in 2014, which is the same amount the group spends on combat stress recovery, their top program, according to the charity’s tax forms obtained by CBS News.

“Let’s get a Mexican mariachi band in there, let’s get maracas made with [the] WWP logo, put them on every staff member’s desk. Let’s get it catered and have a big old party,” Sgt. Millette added.