A founding member of a “mom and pop” motorcycle group testified Friday that before the Cossacks took over a biker coalition meeting at Twin Peaks and engaged in a deadly shootout with Bandidos, one ran over his wife’s foot, they circled her and spit in her face.
Mike Lynch, a self-employed plumbing contractor from Mart, said the Cossacks cause more trouble in the Waco area than the Bandidos ever have.
Lynch, an original member of the Los Pirados motorcycle club, testified Friday in the trial of Jacob Carrizal.
Carrizal, 35, the Bandidos Dallas chapter president, is the first of 154 bikers indicted in the May 17, 2015, shootout at Twin Peaks to stand trial. Nine bikers died and more than a dozen were injured in the clash between the Cossacks and the Bandidos, the dominant biker group in Texas.
Prosecutors have called 24 witnesses during the first eight days of testimony.
Carrizal, represented by Houston attorney Casie Gotro, is charged in 54th State District Court with directing the activities of a criminal street gang and two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity.
Lynch said his wife, Sandra, also a member of the Los Pirados, which he described as a “family-oriented club,” helped organize the meeting of the Coalition of Clubs and Independents at Twin Peaks. The group planned to hear from speakers and discuss safety laws and legislation regarding motorcycles.
Lynch, 64, said he has been riding motorcycles since he was 14. The Los Pirados are not a Bandidos support group by definition but wear “I support the Fat Mexican” shields on their vests out of respect for the Bandidos, he said.
Lynch said when the group was formed, they created a patch and showed it to Bandidos leaders, not to get their permission but to make sure they were not in conflict with other groups.
He said the COCI meeting in Waco was to have been the first here. Most of the others they have attended over the years have been in the Austin area, he said.
Lynch said there is not a Bandidos chapter in Waco, and the Cossacks were starting to exert their force here, laying claim to Waco as a Cossacks town, he said under questioning from prosecutor Michael Jarrett.
He said he knew the Cossacks and Bandidos were in conflict with each other, but said he had more concerns about the Cossacks than he did about the Bandidos.
On the morning of the meeting at Twin Peaks, Lynch said he saw a group of 60 or more Cossacks riding through Waco. He called his wife, who was setting up for the meeting, and asked if the Cossacks were at the meeting. She said they were coming in and taking over the patio area, and he told her to “stay out of their way,” he said.
Lynch arrived at Twin Peaks and saw the Bandidos ride into the parking lot. Minutes later, he heard a gunshot, followed by bursts of gunfire. He ran for cover and didn’t see much after that, until police were ordering his group to the ground and searching them for weapons, he said.
Lynch said he and his wife were arrested in the incident but were not indicted. He said he didn’t expect the violence because he has been to functions before with Bandidos and there were no incidents.
“I walked into that blind,” he said.
Through her cross-examination, Gotro tried to paint the Cossacks as the aggressors and has laid a defensive foundation that the Cossacks crashed the meeting, commandeered the patio area, laid a trap for the Bandidos and ambushed them when they arrived.
In a previous run-in with the Cossacks, Lynch said he and his wife and a few other Los Pirados members were at Twin Peaks and eight or nine Cossacks confronted them, trying to provoke a fight. Much like they did to his wife on the day of the shootout, Lynch said they surrounded him to try to intimidate him.
“I didn’t rise to the bait. I just walked away from them. I didn’t say a word. I didn’t want to be around them. I could see they were trouble,” he said.
Under redirect from Jarrett, Lynch said he doesn’t remember telling a Waco police detective two years ago that there were so many Bandidos in town that day to make a statement that Waco is not a Cossacks town.
In other testimony Friday, Brad Doan, the former Twin Peaks manager, testified about the chaotic day and helped prosecutor Amanda Dillon explain the action captured on several of the restaurant’s video surveillance cameras.
Doan said just before the shooting, Cossacks left the patio area and stood shoulder-to-shoulder in the parking lot just outside the patio.
“I never saw anything like that except in the military,” he said.
Sensing trouble, Doan called 911 to request police assistance. As it was ringing, he said he heard the first pop from a gun. He then directed his employees into walk-in coolers for their safety.
Prosecution testimony resumes Monday morning.