WACO, Texas (CN) — A Waco police officer testified Tuesday that the owner of a Twin Peaks “breastaurant” declined to cancel a biker event where a deadly 2015 shootout broke out between the rival Cossacks and Bandidos motorcycle gangs.
Police Sgt. Stephen Drews testified that the owner said nothing bad ever happened during previous bike nights at the restaurant. He said police planned a large, visible presence at the restaurant as a deterrent for violence, but did not expect and were not prepared for the shootout.
“It looked like somebody took Cabela’s [hunting and fishing supplies] and turned it on end and shook it into the parking lot,” Drews testified. “There were so many knives, guns, clubs, you name it.”
Drews testified for the prosecution during the second week of the trial of Jacob “Jake” Carrizal, 35, of Dallas, in McClelland County Court.
Carrizal, a leader of the Dallas chapter of the Bandidos, is charged with directing the operations of a criminal gang, and two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity. The shootout on May 17, 2015 killed nine bikers and injured 20.
More than 150 people have been charged. Carrizal, the first to go to trial, faces up to life in state prison if convicted of all charges.
Tensions ratcheted up between the gangs when the Cossacks started wearing “Texas” bottom rocker patches on their vests without permission from the Bandidos, who claim the state as their territory.
Drews said police planned for the biker event with assurances that both gangs considered it foolish to have a violent confrontation in such a busy place on a Sunday afternoon. He testified that nothing happened between the two gangs until a column of Bandidos, led by Carrizal, rode into the parking lot. He said gunfire broke out seconds after hearing a fellow officer report heavy tension.
Prosecutors say Carrizal directed members to Waco and told them to be ready for a violent confrontation. A gang expert testified Monday that he saw evidence on Carrizal’s cellphone instructing members to “bring their tools,” or guns, not to travel alone, to leave women at home, not to tolerate disrespect and that “this is the life” they have chosen.
Carrizal’s attorneys disagree. They say the Cossacks instigated the shootout, that they showed up wearing bulletproof vests and ambushed the Bandidos before they could dismount their motorcycles.
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