WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – The City of Warren has temporarily closed a motorcycle club, declaring it a public nuisance following a shooting between two rival biker groups that killed two and injured three others.
City officials boarded up the Forever Two Wheelz Club (FTW), located at 338 Chestnut Ave. NE, on Friday. Detectives say they found a number of items, including guns, that led them to believe criminal gang activity was going on at this location.
The club house is located just a few blocks away from Warren G. Harding High School.
Judge Andrew Logan granted the city a temporary injunction to close the club house. He will decide on July 1 whether to permanently close the building.
Warren City Law Director Gregory Hicks said FTW members were also connected to an assault at Summit Lounge on April 8 and shooting at Powerhouse Bar in 2012. The murders outside of Shorty’s Place during a bike run on June 18 were the last straw.
Hicks said he believes the club house is where that shooting was plotted.
“That is our theory, that this is where they get together to decide what they’re going to do, you know, before and after they would store their instruments of the criminal activity… weapons,” he said.
David Bailes, Jr., the club’s president, has been charged with two counts of murder for the deaths of Robert Marto and Jason Moore, who were members of the Brothers Regime biker group.
“We’re being proactive. We’re not going to wait for any more activity to happen, wait for some kind of retaliation or any other issues to go on,” said Hicks. “We’re going to go out there right now. We’re going to close it we’re gonna board it up, and we’re gonna keep that neighborhood safe for everyone around there.”
No one was at the clubhouse when officers arrived Friday morning, but neighbors say it has been quiet since the shooting last weekend.
“The rest of the club hasn’t been anywhere near [the club house]. They’re not wearing their patches. Nobody wanted this,” said Patricia Donham, a woman who lives nearby.
Donham said she saw members of FTW taking things out of the house the other day.
Warren Mayor Doug Franklin said he wants to send a strong message to the community that such actions won’t be tolerated.
“We’re using the full letter of the law to make sure they’re protected and this nuisance abatement process has been very successful,” he said.
The Brothers Regime plans to have a memorial for its deceased members on Saturday.