Four Hays County men arrested in Waco biker melee

by Moses Leos III

Four Hays County men are among the over 170 people arrested following a deadly shootout between police and biker gangs at a Waco Twin Peaks restaurant on May 17.

According to information gathered from Waco television station KWTX, Lawrence Raymond Yager, 66, of Buda, Matthew Yocum, 25, of Kyle and Phillip Mason Smith, 38, of Manchaca were arrested after the incident that killed nine people and injured 18 in the parking lot of the restaurant. Yager is one of the oldest of the 177 people reportedly arrested.

The three men are being held in the McLennan County Jail on Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity charges, which is a first-degree felony. All are being held on $1 million bond.

Another man from Dripping Springs was reportedly arrested in connection with the incident, but is not listed in McLennan County jail records. The role all four men played in the incident is unknown, nor is their affiliation with any of the motorcycle clubs or gangs in attendance.

All were taken into custody after a brawl escalated into a shootout during a regional meeting of motorcycle clubs at the restaurant.

According to a report from the New York Times, tension mounted after members of the Cossacks motorcycle gang arrived uninvited to the meeting, which was partially organized by the Bandidos motorcycle gang.  

Police, sensing possible hostilities due to continuing disputes between the groups, were outside of the Twin Peaks restaurant before the violence began.

It is believed that a parking dispute or one biker running over another’s foot led to fisticuffs, which then turned into a shootout between bikers and police.

Multiple media outlets Tuesday reported police recovering over 300 weapons around the restaurant. Some of the weapons were stuffed into seat cushions or in bags of tortilla chips. That was paired down from an initial number of over 1,000 that was previously announced. 

According to a report in the Austin American-Statesman, controversy is swirling after the Twin Peaks restaurant released video of the incident to the Associated Press. It refutes law enforcement’s claims that the incident started inside the restaurant.

The video showed bikers were attempting to assist bystanders crawl away, or hiding from gunfire. Waco Police have not commented on the video as the investigation continues. 

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