Ten men are facing felonious assault charges following the first clash between biker gangs in Union Township since 1989.
Union Township Lt. Scott Gaviglia reported members of the local chapter of the Detroit Highwaymen received notification on their phone that two members of a rival gang, the Cincinnati Iron Horsemen were in Frank and Jamie’s Tavern, or the Lake, on Old State Route 74 just east of Eastgate Blvd. on Jackson Lake playing pool shortly before 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9. Ten Highwaymen arrived at the tavern looking for the Horsemen.
“They immediately located the Horsemen and the fight was on,” Gaviglia said.
When officers arrived on the scene at about 11:45 p.m. they found four of the bikers suffering from stab wounds warranting trips to local hospitals.
None of the other patrons in the restaurant were injured or involved in the altercation. The injured bikers were treated and released.
Gaviglia said his officer were told that the Highwaymen had recently fled the scene in a pickup truck and they immediately put an alert out. UT patrol officers located the truck about a mile from the bar and stopped it to question the passengers.
"Our officers did a good job identifying the vehicle," Gaviglia said. "It all happened very fast and there was a lot of radio traffic."
None of the nine Highwaymen arrested are from Clermont County and as a result their bail has been set at $100,000 each. The nine were indicted on felonious assault charges Wednesday, Oct. 13. A tenth man, Douglas Glass, 39, of Middletown, was also indicted and remains at large.
While none of the men arrested live in Clermont County, one man has local ties.
Keith Gardner, 38, of Villa Hills, Ky. works for the Union Township fire and EMS department. He was charged with felonious assault and he could face additional charges related to possession of a firearm without a conceal and carry permit. Garnder is currently suspended from the department until the case is resolved.
The additional eight men affiliated with the Highwaymen who were arrested are Joseph Earls, 47, of Sayer Park, William Ferguson, 29, of Winton Woods, Ryan Flowers, 22, of Colerain Township, Joshua Overbeck, 22, of Hamilton, Rickey Hiter, 32, Florence, Ky., Geoffrey Poynter, 43, of Forrest Park, Kelvin Ryan, 46, of Mt. Orab, and Joseph Senecal, 21, of Sharonville.
Gaviglia said the fight was just another incident in a series of altercations between the two gangs over the last two years and there is no proof of significant increases in the gangs' membership. Zinser said Saturday's attack was very unusual for Clermont County.
"It was an isolated incident," Zinser said. "We haven't had any problems with conflicting bikers since 1989 at Vic's Brew & Cue in Mount Carmel. There are no clubhouses in Union Township."
Gaviglia said the investigation remains on going.