Biker gangs leave trail of mayhem while claiming South Florida, authorities say

Hoodlum biker gangs leaving trails of exhaust, murder and mayhem in their wake are not a thing of yesteryear, as demonstrated by a recent killing pinned on the notorious Outlaws Motorcycle Club near Orlando.

The Outlaws, whose motto is “God forgives, Outlaws don’t,” have been actively challenging motorcycle clubs throughout the state, an investigation into the April 29 slaying of a Kingsmen motorcyclist in Leesburg has revealed.

The Outlaws have “decreed that any clubs that did not choose to submit to their authority would need to disband, close their clubhouses and cease to wear their respective insignia,” court documents show.

Late last year, the sent a memo to law enforcement agencies in the Keys warning of an uptick in the presence of biker gangs in South Florida, especially the Keys, Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay said Friday.

Various gangs are trying to gain territory in South Florida, and the Outlaws may react with increased presence and influence. Gang conflicts at motorcycling events could be expected, the November memo warned, Ramsay said.
“We were told that the Outlaws gang was generally trying to take more control in South Florida, especially in the Keys,” he said. “But we’ve seen an increase in all four of the main biker gangs down here.”

He listed the four as: the Outlaws, the Hells Angels, the Pagans and the Pistons. No one gang is perceived as “controlling” territory in the region, Ramsay said.

The FBI would neither confirm nor deny such a decree, activity or memo. “Sorry, no comment on motorcycle gang activity in South Florida,” said Special Agent Michael Leverock, spokesman for the agency.

Known for drug dealing and gun running, renegade motorcycle clubs have laid claim to domains throughout the Sunshine State. The Outlaws remain the alpha club, especially in South Florida. The Dirty White Boys have a clubhouse in Davie. And the Black Pistons have one near Riviera Beach.The Warlocks call Orlando their base. The Pagans, a rival, have a chapter in Pasco County, while the Los Angeles-based The Mongols have been known to operate in the Tampa Bay area.

Such gangs, authorities say, have been behind recent barroom brawls in Key West and Daytona Beach. During Key West’s annual Peterson Poker Run in September, more than a dozen bikers wearing colors of the Outlaws got into a fight at the Rumor lounge. The owner and an employee each suffered a swollen eye and a bloody lip, police told the Key Noter.

A Hillsborough County firefighter was a suspected member of the Outlaws wanted for participating in that fight, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
“We don’t have much day-to-day gang activity but in the last few years, we started to see an increase in biker gang participation at events like the Peterson Poker Run,” Ramsay said. “We started to see people riding in their gang colors, with their jackets on, and that was something we hadn’t seen in the past.”

A skull atop two crossed pistons is the insignia of the Outlaws. They have been celebrating “Biking and Brotherhood” since 1935 when the club was formed at a bar on Old Route 66 near Chicago, according to the club’s website, which sells T-shirts and patches that say “Snitches are a dying breed.” The club boasts chapters across the nation as well as in Ireland, Japan, Norway and Russia.

As many as 80 Outlaws wore their “gang colors” during Daytona’s annual Bike Week in March, according to the The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

And just last month, “Louie da Lip,” an Outlaw member legally known as Christopher Keating, 59, died after he was repeatedly stabbed in the back in a Daytona Beach bar. Police think Keating’s killers belonged to the Pagan Motorcycle Club, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

A Pompano Beach man was identified as president of the Black Pistons Motorcycle Club near Riviera Beach when he was charged with punching a woman last year. The assault happened outside a clubhouse in the 3600 block of East Industrial Way in unincorporated Riviera Beach, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Broward County is home to a clubhouse belonging to the Dirty White boys, an auxiliary club of the Outlaws. A man who federal agents say is a white supremacist bragged that he killed more than 20 people and “left a trail of dead hookers” from Phoenix to South Florida; he was arrested late last year hiding out in a trailer behind the Davie clubhouse in the 4300 block of Davie Road.

When biker gang members try to establish dominance, they force rival gangs to take off their colors or jackets. That is one way gangs try to claim they are in control of an area, experts say.

And that’s how the Leesburg execution of a Kingsmen member played out, according to arrest reports released Wednesday.

As many as 15 Outlaws members ambushed David “Gutter” Donovan, who was attending the Leesburg Bikefest, at a Circle K gas station. They held a knife to his throat and demanded that he shed his Kingsmen Motorcycle Club jacket. He refused. The Outlaws forced Donovan to his knees and shot him in the back several times. He died two weeks later, according to the reports.
“We’re working our case. It’s still active and ongoing,” Lt. Joe Iozzi, spokesman for the Leesburg Police Department, said Friday. “We issued four warrants; two people have been arrested, two of those are still outstanding, and we’re still trying to identify the shooter.”

He declined to speak to “the larger scope of gang activity” throughout the state.
“Their motives are not pertinent to our case,” Iozzi said. “We don’t let people beat people up and shoot them no matter what their motive or reasoning is.”