The first biker on trial over the Twin Peaks shootout testified on day 18 of the trial, describing to the jury he acted in self-defense on May 17, 2015.
Defendant Christopher Jacob Carrizal, the president of the Dallas chapter of the Bandidos, was indicted on charges of engaging in organized criminal activity and directing activities of a criminal street gang. Nine bikers died and dozens were injured after the shootout outside the Twin Peaks restaurant more than two years ago.
On Tuesday, Carrizal testified about arriving to the restaurant for a Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting back then and being surprised about the Cossacks being there. That motorcycle club is not part of the COCI.
"I was caught off guard. I didn't think they would be there,” Carrizal said.
The locomotive engineer said the Cossacks started yelling at Bandidos telling them they were blocking them in, taking their parking. According to Carrizal, members of his club told them they weren’t.
He explained to the jury, his uncle who was the president of his chapter at the time, told Cossacks they could talk about the COCI meeting but the father of two said instead they started calling him names. Soon after, he said, a member of his club defended his uncle, and both groups started arguing.
“I could just feel the tension,” Carrizal said.
Carrizal who has been a member of the Bandidos since 2012 said Cossacks surrounded him and attacked him.
"They ripped my face shield and they had brass knuckles and they are trying to hit inside my face shield. I was just kicking and punching,” Carrizal said.
He admits later when he was on the ground, fighting with two Cossacks, he fired shots at Jacob Lee Rhyne after he saw a gun pointed at him. Rhyne, 39, was one the bikers who died in the shootout.
"Had you ever fired a weapon to another human being this day?" Gotro asked.
Carrizal replied he had never done that prior that shooting.
The 35-year-old got emotional while describing the aftermath of the shootout. He said he saw one of the members of his club deceased. He also described looking desperately for his father, Christopher Julian, to later find him being walked by two officers to another location in that crime scene.
“His shirt was ripped off of him or they cut it off of him and he put his head on my lap, and he was covered in blood and he started telling me to take care of my mom,” Carrizal said.
His father who was also charged for the shootout survived but he is no longer a member of the Bandidos.
Carrizal who was a vice president of the Bandidos when the shootout happened has now ascended to the rank of president.
He also earned an “Expect No Mercy” patch, which gang experts testified previously someone obtains after committing an act of violence.
However, Carrizal disagreed with that statement:
“People outside of our organization look at it one way. I'm sitting up here. I'm being judged by everyone here and everyone in that camera. I'm in this position and I can't expect no mercy from society. I'm a Bandido and I'm looked at like a criminal,” Carrizal said.
He said he has never been asked to commit a crime as a member of the Bandidos and blamed the shootout on the Cossacks because they were not supposed to be there.
Before Carrizal took the stand, Waco Police chief Ryan Holt also testified about working surveillance prior to the COCI meeting at Twin Peaks. He said they were aware about a conflict between the Bandidos and Cossacks.
Holt who was the assistant police chief back then said he approached the General Manager of Twin Peaks Brad Doan a month before the meeting about police concerns regarding those groups frequenting that business.
“I felt there was potential danger and that he was inviting trouble by inviting known gang members to his business and that he was putting us in a precarious position and he responded that he didn't really care, they made a lot of money on it and he didn't want the police on his property,” Holt said.
Doan testified earlier in the trial there was discussion about stopping those events at the end of April but the owner decided against it.
Prosecutor Michael Jarrett is expected to continue cross-examination of the witness on Wednesday morning.
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