Texas police ask for gang truce after deadly brawl in Waco

Reuters News
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Posted: May 19, 2015 9:54 AM

By Lisa Maria Garza

WACO, Texas (Reuters) - Police in Waco, Texas, saying there had been enough bloodshed, asked rival motorcycle gangs on Tuesday to put aside their differences after a deadly brawl at a local restaurant left nine people dead and 18 injured.

“There has been enough tragedy and there has been enough bloodshed in Waco, Texas. We would appreciate there not being any more," Police Sergeant Patrick Swanton told a news briefing.

He added that threats for reprisal against police from motorcycle gangs have "toned down," but said they are still a worry for law enforcement officials, who arrested 170 people following Sunday's brawl at the Twin Peaks Sports Bar and Grill in the central Texas city.

Of the 18 injured in the deadly fight, seven remain in the hospital and all are in stable condition. Almost all of those involved in the brawl are not from the Waco area, Swanton said.

Those arrested were being held in separate parts of a county jail to prevent an outbreak of violence, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported.

"We're not going to let them intermingle for the safety of the officers and for the safety of the prisoners,” McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara was quoted as saying.

Those arrested are being held on bond of $1 million each on organized crime charges relating to capital murder. Sheriff's office officials were not immediately available to comment on the report.

Waco police on Monday warned of revenge attacks by the biker gangs after the deadly fight at the Twin Peaks Sports Bar and Grill, where scantily clad waitresses serve bar food and drinks.

The bikers attacked each other with guns, knives, brass knuckles, clubs and chains. The brawl started in a restroom, spread to the restaurant and spilled out to two parking lots.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by W Simon and Dan Grebler)