WACO (AP) — The leader of a motorcycle club on trial for his part in the deadliest shootout between biker groups in U.S. history testified Tuesday in his own defense.
Christopher “Jake” Carrizal is president of the Dallas chapter of the Bandidos. He testified during his trial in Waco that a rival biker club, the Cossacks, was behaving provocatively when Carrizal’s group arrived at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco for a meeting on May 17, 2015, and a brawl quickly erupted.
Carrizal said a Cossack was trying to punch him through his safety helmet with brass knuckles when he heard gunshots. He said he tried to reach for the knife in his pocket but couldn’t grasp it. As the fight continued and he was on the ground, he reached for a two-shot Derringer pistol in his back pocket and fired it at a Cossack. When he couldn’t reload, he took cover behind a light pole and yelled for his father, who also was part of the brawl. He said he saw one member of his group lying dead and another bleeding from the head, so he crawled under a truck.
He finally saw two police officers helping his father, who was shot in the shoulder.
Carrizal is charged with directing organized criminal activity that led to the brawl. If convicted, he could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Nine bikers in all were killed in the fight and 20 others were wounded. Police arrested 177 bikers after the mayhem, and more than 150 people were eventually charged.
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