Fresno police are promising a crackdown on the semi-annual motorcycle gatherings in the city that frequently end in gang-related violence and gunfire, Chief Jerry Dyer said Wednesday.
Dyer said the latest incident took place early Sunday on Olive Avenue near Crystal Avenue at a Motel 6, where more than a hundred rounds were fired and three people were wounded.
Motorcyclists from throughout the state gather in Fresno every spring and fall as part of so-called “halfway runs,” which draw bikers from the Bay Area and Southern California. Clubs such as the Soul Brothers and the East Bay Dragons have a strong presence at the events, which start on Friday and continue through Sunday.
The events also draw gang members and arguments can turn violent. In 2014, Dyer noted that officers were at the same location when officers were involved in a shooting after violence broke out. In 2013, one person was killed and 12 were wounded after a shooting at the Soul Brothers club, then at Calwa Avenue and Pullman Street, near southeast Fresno. Sheriff’s deputies arrived to find hundreds of people running in all directions after the shooting started.
This year, the chief said, gunfire by multiple shooters ended with the three wounded taken to a hospital by a party bus.
“We’re going to take a much more aggressive stance” with future gatherings, Dyer said. He added that police have had discussions with members of the Soul Brothers in an effort to keep a lid on trouble.
Now, he said, it will be all hands on deck when the bikers roll in, and he vowed that motorcyclists who break the law will be cited and their bikes towed when necessary.