Manager, seasoned biker finish out tedious week in Twin Peaks trial

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) A tasking week in Waco’s first Twin Peaks Shooting trial came to an end after two new witnesses took the stand Friday.

(Photo by Rissa Shaw)

Following video-related testimony from the general manager of the restaurant next door, the former manager of Twin Peaks, Brad Doan, was called as a witness by the state in the trial against Christopher Jacob Carrizal, the President of the Dallas Chapter of the Bandidos motorcycle club.

Doan was in charge of the restaurant on May 17, 2015 when nine bikers were killed, and more than twenty others were injured, in a turf war between rival biker bangs, the Bandidos and the Cossacks.

He said bikers from one of the groups, the Cossacks, started coming in shortly after the restaurant opened at 11am, and they went straight for the patio.

At some point, Doan said he knew something was wrong.

“I’d never seen anything like it except in the military, ya know,’” he said. “Their backs were turned towards us.”

He said from the bar, he saw the Cossacks stacked ‘shoulder to shoulder.’

“Well, when they were lined up I thought there was gonna be a fight out there or somethin’ and so I wanted to ensure that didn’t happen, and I told every employee to stay inside and not go out on the patio,” said Doan.

He said he started to dial 911 and heard pops from the patio are.

“Get in the back, get in the coolers, get to safety,” he said he was yelling to his staff.

Prosecutor Amanda Dillon questioned Doan about what management and ownership knew about the two clubs before the shootout.

Doan testified that they’d been warned by law enforcement about the tensions between the two clubs the month before the shootout following one of their ‘bike nights.’

“The first one we did in 2015, the one in April, there was a TABC officer that approached a member of ownership, gave us a brief description of two clubs having issues, the Cossacks and the Bandidos,” said Doan.

He said they talked about stopping biker events at the restaurant, but the owners decided against it, allowing them to continue.

Doan said the Confederation of Clubs and Independents had reserved the patio for 200-300 bikers, and he was told it was a public event, not for any certain group.

Prosecutors had Doan review surveillance footage from the restaurant, which he said had about eleven security cameras.

After Doan was dismissed, prosecutors called Michael Lynch, a founding member of the Los Piratos motorcycle club, to the stand.

Lynch, 63, of Mart, is seasoned in the Texas motorcycle club world; he said he’d been riding motorcycles since he was 14, was part of a ‘mom and pop’ club which belonged to the COC.

He contended his club was not a Bandidos support club, but he knew some of them.

"Sometimes they'll throw a party and we'll go to that," said Lynch.

He said you recognize a support club by similar colors and patches.
He said after designing their patches when Los Pirados was founded in 2009, club leaders took their patches to the head of the Heart of Texas Bandidos in Killeen.

“Just to show them what we had so we wouldn’t be in conflict with any other club,” said Lynch.

Besides his first-hand account of what happened at Twin Peaks, posecutors asked him to describe the significance of patches on vests and his knowledge of the Bandidos and Cossacks.

Lynch said the Bandidos are known as “one-percenters,” and while he’s never been a one-percenter, he said the Bandidos have always been the dominant one-percenter club in Texas.

The Bandidos did not have a chapter in Waco, where the Cossacks’ presence has been growing since 2014.

"They (the Cossacks) said Waco was gonna be their town, but that was just verbal stuff I don't know anything else," said Lynch.

He said he knew the two clubs didn’t like each other, and thought the Cossacks were ‘bad news.’

“Yes, I had concerns abou the Cossacks,” said Lynch. “I had no concerns about the Bandidos whatsoever.”

In texts entered as evidence during the trial, about an hour before the shooting Lynch said he saw ‘100 Cossacks’ and ‘some red and gold,’ and hoped nothing bad would happen.

An undercover DPS agent was final witness to take the stand before the trial recessed for the weekend.

In the eight days of testimony, prosecutors appear to be setting the stage, as specifics on Carrizal or his direct involvement have yet to be mentioned.

The prosecution would pick up where it left off at 9am Monday in the 54th District Court at the McLennan County Courthouse.

Trial notes 10.20.17

3 p.m. update

In defense attorney Casie Gotro's cross-examination of Twin Peaks manager Brad Doan:

Gotro's questioning at first focused on when and where he and his staff were interviewed by authorities.

Once Doan is dismissed, the prosecution calls Michael Lynch, 63, of Mart, to the stand, a member of the Los Pirados motorcycle club since 2009, one of the original 13 members.

"We're basically a mom and pop club, we're real family oriented," said Lynch.

"They wear the one-percent patch, i guess they don't agree with everything,"

Lynch said he's never been a one-percenter, but said the Bandidos have always been the dominant one-percenter club in Texas.

Says you recognize a support club by similar colors and patches, and his club is not a Bandidos support club.

Prosecutor Jarrett starts analyzing Lynch's vest.

Lynch said their club leadership took their patches to the head of the Heart of Texas Bandidos, mostly located out of Killeen.

"Just to show them what we had so we wouldn't be in conflict with any other club," said Lynch.

Lynch said the Bandidos taught him respect through the Confederation of Clubs and Independents.

"We do not want to be a support club, we like where we're at," said Lynch.

He said they have enough on their plate.

He said he knew about the tensions Bandidos and the Cossacks.

"I knew they didn't like each other, I never witnessed a conflict," said Lynch.

Lynch has been riding for 50 years in Texas and thought the Cossacks were 'bad news.'

"Yes, I had concerns with the Cossacks," said Lynch. "They (the Cossacks) said Waco was gonna be their town, but that was just verbal stuff I don't know anything else," said Lynch.

"There is not a Bandido chapter in Waco," said Lynch.

There was not a large presence of 'red and gold' when he first got to Twin Peaks, but 'a few' started showing up later.

In Gotro's cross-examination, Lynch said he's been around the Bandidos for about nine years, but had never met Carrizal until now.

"Sometimes they'll throw a party and we'll go to that," said Lynch.

He said you did not have to necessarily be a member of a support club to attend one of those parties.

He said the Cossacks had never been a member of the COC in the past.

He said there were some items on the agenda for the May 15, 2017 COC meeting regarding motorcycle safety legislation.

1:30 p.m. update

Immediately after returning from recess, defense attorney Casie Gotro launches an objection against the four TV screens that have been used when showing videos in the courtroom, saying they have been blocking the jury from seeing her client.

Judge Matt Johnson is asking for counsel to take photos of how the TVs have been positioned to include in the appellate record, but overruled her objection.

When the jury returned, prosecutors continued to review Twin Peaks security camera video with manager Brad Doan.

12:15 p.m. update

Brad Doan was the manager on duty at Twin Peaks on the day of the shootout.

He admitted to prosecutors, he and the owners were told about the tensions between the Bandidos and Cossacks following a 'bike night' they had in April.

"At some point in 2015, were you approached by the Waco Police Dept. about stopping these bike nights?" asked prosecutor Amanda Dillon.

"I was approached the first one we did in 2015, the one in April, there was a TABC officer that approached a member of ownership, gave us a brief description of two clubs having issues, the Cossacks and the Bandidos," said Doan.

Dillon asked if there were additional conversations with law enforcement about not having additional bike nights.

Brad said, yes, there was a conversation at the end of April, and while they considered stopping the bike nights, the owners decided against it, allowing them to continue.

10:30 a.m. update

Prosecution calls the former Twin Peaks manager, Brad Doan to the stand.

He says they had almost 100 employees.

Prosecution asks him about the "Bike Nights" the restaurant held. He said they started holding them in 2014. He said they were focused on bikers but open to the public.

The first bike night of 2015 was in mid-April of 2015. They were going to do them once a month after that.

Had three personnel there on those evenings, a manager, an owner, and another manager floating the restaurant as well.

"We'd staff pretty heavy as far as the patio," he said.

Prosecutor asked if they had a particular group come in for these bike nights. He said the booze fighters would come, but it was a variety.

He said he was familiar with the Cossacks.

"From being in the restaurant, yeah," he said.

Asked if they had an issues where police needed to be called in 2015, and he said no.

Said he was approached in April 2015, said a TABC officer approached management and ownership, gave a brief description of the two group having conflict.

At no point did you make the decision to stop having the bike nights.

"That is correct," he said.

He did say they were going to 'back off' on having them, but not cancelling them altogether.

He said COC was promoted to him to talk about legislation for biker rights by Ms. Lynch, was never told it was for any certain group, just clubs and independents.

He said there was no bouncer at the door, a public event.

He said they would only let the group, 200-300 bikers expected, reserve the patio area. They said they would provide some cones to help them with parking.

Said he noticed bikers coming in shortly after restaurant opened at 11am, said they were Cossacks and they went straight to the patio.

"Were you made aware the Cossacks weren't part of the COC? asked Amanda.

"No ma'am," said Doan.

"Were you ever asked to make the Cossacks leave?" asked Dillon..

"No ma'am," said Doan.

He said he didn't see any issues between Cossacks and a group wearing 'red and gold' inside.

At some point, he said he knew something was wrong.

He said the Cossacks were standing 'shoulder to shoulder,' 'stacked,' he said.

"I'd never seen anything like it except in the military, ya know," he said. "Their backs were turned towards us," he said.

I told every employee to stay inside and don't go out on the patio, in response, as he thought there was going to be a fight of some kind.

He said he heard pops from the patio area and started to dial 911.

"Get in the back, get in the coolers, get to safety," he said he was yelling to his staff.

He said most staff went back into the coolers. He started doing a head count and asked him a kitchen staffer on the other side to do a head count to make sure everyone was accounted for.

He said it was only a few minutes, so they weren't in there very long.

Bikers in the kitchen area with them were wearing 'black and yellow,' but wasn't sure which club.

He said many eight non-biker patrons were in the restaurant.

"It wasn't many," he said.

He said the restaurant has two patio cameras, in kitchen, in the front of the building, inside the restaurant, in his office...a total of 11 cameras.

10 a.m. update

During defense attorney Casie Gotro's questioning of Caldwell, she's trying to see if there are any blind spots that Don Carlos' cameras do not capture.

She asks Caldwell if time stamp was accurate; Caldwell says he doesn't know 100 percent, he was there when Sgt. Vaughn collected and compiled the footage, though.

Caldwell said he had two assistant managers with him during this process.

Calwell says his restaurant does get visits from TABC, but not Twin Peaks related.

Gotro passes the witness after judge sustains her objection about whether or not law enforcement interviewed any patrons that day. Prosecutors said it was 'speculation.'

9:45 a.m. update

The General Manager of Don Carlos Mexican Restaurant, which sits directly next to Twin Peaks, resumes his testimony on the stand.

Like Thursday, prosecutors are having him go through the footage taken by one of Don Carlos' 16 security cameras on May 17, 2015. (A different camera/angle than yesterday).

During defense attorney Casie Gotro's questioning of Caldwell, she's trying to see if there are any blind spots that Don Carlos' cameras do not capture.

She asks Caldwell if time stamp was accurate; Caldwell says he doesn't know 100 percent, he was there when Sgt. Vaughn collected and compiled the footage, though.

Caldwell said he had two assistant managers with him during this process.

Calwell says his restaurant does get visits from TABC, but not Twin Peaks related.

Gotro passes the witness after judge sustains her objection about whether or not law enforcement interviewed any patrons that day. Prosecutors said it was 'speculation.'