Fort Worth police are planning special patrols in the historic Stockyards area this weekend after a warning that an “extremely violent” outlaw motorcycle gang is organizing a rally there.
A number of shop owners have posted signs on their doors saying, “No club affiliated attire of any kind allowed inside our establishment.”
"We're taking nothing for granted," said city council member Carlos Flores who represents North Fort Worth. "We are going to have a very visible presense at the Stockyards. There will be a lot of police officers, a lot of uniforms to be seen."
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The gang, known as the Mongols, is based in California.
A report from the U.S. Justice Department identifies the Mongols as “an extremely violent (gang) that poses a serious criminal threat to the Pacific and Southwestern regions of the U.S.”
The report said the group frequently commits crimes including murder, assault and intimidation.
Quoting an intelligence warning from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Star-Telegram reported as many 700 Mongols could arrive in the Stockyards beginning late Thursday.
Police said officers will make sure visitors and everyone are safe.
"They might be wondering what's going on when they see all these motorcyclists coming into town," said Officer Brad Perez. "We want them to see just as many officers out there for their safety."
Perez added that officers reached out to local leaders of a rival biker gang and were told they planned no confrontation.
Several tourists interviewed on Exchange Avenue said they weren't worried.
"People who come down here are probably good, solid Texans and they're not really threatened by that ilk of folk," said Karen Choate, of Las Cruces, New Mexico.