Wednesday, April 5, 2017
OFF THE WIRE
One percenters live by a code that embodies courage, strength, pride, individualism and that does not tolerate humiliation.
The motorcycle club world is not about money – although enough money is always delightful to have. It is about honor and about living by an honor code. That code is not about being the mafia on wheels, or selling drugs, selling guns, selling women, or bullying civilians. The argument can be made that it is Beowulf’s code. The honor code is strict enough that it inevitably leads to violence and that violence fascinates authors, television producers and reporters who simply cannot imagine any reasons for say, the Twin Peaks bloodbath other than profit or insanity.
So most of what you will read about three parking lot murders in the last two days – two in San Bernardino, California and another in Daytona Beach, Florida – will be fatuous and condescending.
Sunday evening in San Bernardino, about halfway through 60 Minutes, three members of the Vagos Motorcycle Club got into an argument at a bar called the Sports Page. They took it outside. It ended quickly. The police haven’t speculated what the argument was about. A Berdoo police spokesman named Mike Madden told the San Bernardino Sun. “There was an altercation in the bar that spilled out into the parking lot. It looks like the suspect and victims all knew each other…. All of the involved parties are members of the same outlaw motorcycle gang.”
Scott Gardner, the president of the San Bernardino chapter of the club and Brian Davis were pronounced dead at an unnamed “local” hospital. A third Vago, Beau Gabriel Hempel fled the scene on his motorcycle and later turned himself in to county sheriffs in Morongo Valley which was about 60 miles away. Hempel was charged with two counts of murder and is now being held without bail. He is unlikely to be executed but he will face the death penalty.
Last night, about 25 hours after the fight at the bar on the edge of the California desert, a member of the America Outlaws Association named Christopher “Louie the Lip” Keating got into a fight with two men in a Daytona Beach bar named the Crook’s Den. The fight spilled out the back door and Keating was mortally stabbed. He was pronounced dead at Halifax Health Medical Center. No one has yet been arrested. A police spokesperson named Lyda Longa later identified the suspects as members of the Pagans Motorcycle Club.
The murder in Florida may attract the most attention. There are currently at least seven one percenter motorcycle clubs in South Florida including the Outlaws. Pagans, Mongols, Warbird Warlocks, Harpy Warlocks, 69ers and the Kinfolk. The Aging Rebel believes this confluence of clubs has attracted the attention of at least one federal police force but is unaware of any details of any ongoing federal investigation.