The owner of a local landscaping business who was jailed with 176 other bikers after the deadly May 17 Twin Peaks shootout has dismissed his federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Waco and McLennan County but says he plans to refile it.
Matthew Alan Clendennen, 30, of Hewitt, a member of the Scimitars Motorcycle Club, claimed in the lawsuit that he was wrongfully jailed and that his business has suffered since his arrest.
Clendennen’s attorney, Clint Broden, said he filed a request to dismiss the suit for procedural reasons only. He said he already has amended the original petition once and he wants to amend it again to add Waco Police Chief Brent Stroman as a defendant. Broden said he does not know when the lawsuit will be refiled.
“It certainly has nothing to do with the merits of the lawsuit,” Broden said. “We just need to add defendants, which we will do at a later date.”
Clendennen filed the lawsuit May 29. U.S. District Judge Walter S. Smith Jr. had not acted on the dismissal request by Monday afternoon.
The suit named as defendants the city of Waco, McLennan County and Waco police Officer Manuel Chavez, who drafted what Clendennen’s attorney calls the “fill-in-the-blank warrants” for the bikers’ arrests.
Clendennen amended the pleadings later to include McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna.
Clendennen, who remains free on bail, claimed he was not engaged in criminal activity at Twin Peaks and was arrested and detained without cause.
The suit said he has no criminal record, is a lifelong McLennan County resident, a former volunteer firefighter in Hewitt and Marlin and a “recreational motorcyclist.”
When the fight broke out at Twin Peaks, Clendennen took cover inside the restaurant and did not participate in the violent episode at all, Broden said at the time.
“In order to arrest somebody in the United States, the Supreme Court has made it clear that there must be individualized probable cause to believe that a particular person actually committed a crime. In this case, there was absolutely no evidence that Mr. Clendennen committed any crime,” Broden said after filing the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also alleged Clendennen’s ex-wife is using his arrest as grounds to try to gain full custody of their children.