Citizens of Waco were angry, but not surprised when a seemingly peaceful day turned violent at the Twin Peaks restaurant. Reportedly, the restaurant continuously allowed the violent motorcycle gangs to hang out, drink beer and gawk at waitresses. The gangs involved in the outbreak, resulting in nine deaths and at least 170 arrests, are known violent gangs.
Sargent Patrick Swanton, of the Waco police department, said it was a pretty gruesome scene. This was the was worst and most violent crime scene Swanton had ever witnessed, in 34 years of law enforcement. There were at least five gangs involved in the deadly brawl, which could have been avoided, according to Swanton. Nearly 100 weapons were recovered, including clubs, knives and brass knuckles.
Swanton also reported that the restaurant’s management had failed to cooperate with agencies of law enforcement who were trying to manage the biker gangs. He stated the restaurant had been warned for nearly two months, but continued to serve the gangs. Jay Patel, Twin Peaks Operating Partner, shared a differing statement which Swanton called an absolute fabrication. Patel released the following statement:
We are horrified by the violent and criminal acts that occurred outside of our Waco restaurant today. We share in the community’s trauma. Our priority is to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for our customers and employees, and we consider the police our partners in doing so. We will continue to cooperate with the police as they investigate this terrible crime.
Patel went on to confirm that the restaurant’s management team had been in continued and positive communications with law enforcement. He expressed their goal is to continue working with police in hopes of keeping violent crime out of, not only the business, but the community as well. Swanton said this was not a true statement, and maintains the management team ignored their warnings.
Twin Peaks Restaurants seemingly agreed with Swanton and revoked the franchise agreement. Rick Van Warner, spokesman for the Twin Peaks franchiser, released the following statement:
We are in the business of people and safety of the restaurant’s employees and guests is priority one. Unfortunately the management team of the franchised restaurant in Waco chose to ignore the warnings and advice from both the police and our company, and did not uphold the high security standards we have in place to ensure everyone is safe at our restaurants.
The spokesman said the Waco location was a relatively new franchise, but their actions would not be tolerated. Van Warner relayed sympathies to the families of those who lost loved ones and expressed his gratefulness that none of the guests, employees, law enforcement or witnesses were injured.
Twin Peaks is a chain of restaurants and sports bars (also called breastaurants). The chain is based in Dallas, Texas but has franchise locations in the South, Midwest and American Southwest. Twin Peaks has been referred to as “breastaurants” because it is known for having waitresses dressed in revealing uniforms. The restaurant’s slogan is “Eats. Drinks. Scenic Views.”
Corporate headquarters for Twin Peaks Restaurants want to be known for a good time, not criminal violence and gang activity. They have revoked the franchise license and apologized to the families. Citizens of Waco were not surprised by the activity of the gangs; instead they were angry that the franchise would not heed the warnings of law enforcement and continued to allow the violent motorcycle gangs to hang out at their facility.
by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Dallas News: 9 bikers killed in rival gang shootout outside Waco restaurant
Entrepreneur: Twin Peaks Restaurant
WFAA: Nine dead, 170 arrested in bloody Waco biker brawl
Top Image Courtesy of Ricky Brigante – Flickr License
Featured Image Courtesy of Ninian Reid – Flickr License