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BIKER NEWS: Waco firefighter fired after gun arrest, alleged Bandidos affiliation

A 13-year veteran with the Waco Fire Department was fired this week after he was arrested on a weapons charge in May and officials l...



A 13-year veteran with the Waco Fire Department was fired this week after he was arrested on a weapons charge in May and officials learned he is a member of the Bandidos motorcycle gang who was shot last year in a bar fight between rival biker groups.

Waco Fire Chief John Johnston fired — or indefinitely suspended — firefighter Bill Dudley for what the chief listed as a multitude of violations of state law and city policies, including “unlawfully carrying a weapon while being a member of an outlaw gang.”

Johnston declined comment on the matter, saying Dudley has the option of appealing the indefinite suspension through the city’s Civil Service process. He said it would not be proper to comment on a potentially pending personnel situation.

Dudley, 33, had been a Waco firefighter since July 2002. Johnston placed him on administrative leave with pay May 15, three days after Dudley was arrested in Crowley for unlawfully carrying a pistol, a misdemeanor.

After a four-month internal investigation, Johnston notified Dudley in a letter dated Tuesday that he was being fired.

Dudley, contacted by phone, denied being a member of the Bandidos and said there are many items in Johnston’s termination letter that he disputes. He declined additional comment and referred other questions to his attorney, Mitch Dooley, of Forth Worth.

“I represent him on something that is completely unrelated to what’s in that letter. I represent him on a misdemeanor gun charge,” Dooley said. “Other than that, I haven’t seen the letter and I don’t know what it says. He is not facing any charges up here as far as being associated with a street gang.”

In Johnston’s letter to Dudley, obtained by the Tribune-Herald through a Texas Public Information Act request, the chief summarizes at least five skirmishes Dudley reportedly was involved in along with other Bandidos he was riding with on those occasions.

Dudley also was fired for not obeying rules and regulations; being absent from work without good reason; failing to notify the department within 24 hours of his arrest; using poor judgment that reflects negatively toward the fire department and the city; and demonstrating poor moral character by associating with and/or being a member of a known criminal street gang as defined by the Texas Penal Code, according to the termination document.

Crowley arrest

Johnston reports that Crowley police pulled Dudley over May 12 after seeing his truck cross three lanes of traffic without signaling. Dudley told the officer he had a gun, which the officer reported that he saw in open view.

The officer checked Dudley’s license and criminal history during the stop. The computer had Dudley’s license flagged with the warning “use caution” and indicated he was a Bandido, according to Johnston’s letter,

The information was entered in law enforcement data bases by the Fort Worth Police Department and prompted the officer to call for backup.

“The Crowley Police Department arrested you because you were unlawfully carrying a weapon in plain view while being a member of the ‘Bandido’ gang,” Johnston’s letter states. “While you were being questioned, it was observed by the police that two motorcycle riders traveling westbound were continually staring at the situation as they drove by the scene. The police officers searched your car while you were in custody. They discovered items in your console that supported the Bandidos.”

Johnston’s letter notes the Texas Department of Public Safety has identified the Bandidos as a criminal street gang.

“Police cannot enter a person’s information into the gang data base because they ‘think’ a person may be part of a gang,” Johnston wrote to Dudley. “There must be strong evidence to support and demonstrate a person is a member of the gang.”

A Crowley police sergeant called Johnston on May 13, the day after Dudley’s arrest, to tell him Dudley had been arrested, was still in jail and that he is a member of the Bandidos. The letter indicates a woman called the department that morning and said Dudley was sick.

“Because you were in jail, you failed to show up to work. . . . Being in jail does not qualify for sick- time benefits according to city policy,” the letter says.

Dudley was arrested in Crowley five days before the Twin Peaks shootout in Waco involving members of the Bandidos and Cossacks that left nine dead and 20 wounded or injured.

Neither Dudley, who lives 50 miles north of Waco, nor his attorney would say if Dudley was at Twin Peaks in Waco on May 17. He was not among the 177 people arrested in connection with the shootout.

The letter also lists a December 2014 incident at Gator’s Jam Inn bar in Fort Worth in which Dudley was shot in the chest, a rival biker was killed and another Bandido was wounded.

Three Bandidos were charged in the incident, according to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Dudley, who was hospitalized, was not charged.

But he misled fire department officers about his injury, the chief’s letter alleges.

“You told the deputy fire chief a person came up to you with no reason and pulled a gun and shot you and you did not know why this occurred,” Johnston wrote. “Because we were unaware of the Gator Bar incident and did not have any reason to doubt your statement or have enough information to ask you the right questions, you flew under the radar. It wasn’t until the internal investigation took place that we discovered there was more to your explanation than you provided. You were not forthcoming with information.”

In April 2014, the chief’s letter alleges, Dudley was involved in a fight at the Electric Cowboy Bar. One of Dudley’s “biker friends” got into an argument with the doorman about “the bar being biker-friendly or not,” according to the document. Dudley’s friend allegedly started fighting with the doorman.

“To aggravate and complicate the situation further, you jumped on the doorman’s back to assist your biker friend,” Johnston wrote.

Dudley was cited by the Fort Worth Police Department, and the chief said Dudley failed to report the citation, as required by city policy.

Sept. 2013 incident

The letter also alleges that in September 2013, Dudley and his “fellow bikers terrorized some individuals in a car by chasing them and shooting at their car” in Fort Worth. The chief noted that there are different versions about how the incident started.

“However, the fact is that your group escalated the problem by pursuing the individuals and used a deadly weapon instead of notifying the police. If you felt the other party was at fault, you should have taken a license plate number and called the police instead of taking the law in your own hands,” the letter states.

The chief notes that during that month, Dudley was off work and on city injury time because he had a broken leg but was riding a “heavy motorcycle.”

The letter also alleges that Dudley was involved in a fight in Joshua, Texas, in August 2013.

“No charges were made because no one would press charges or cooperate with the police on what happened,” according to the letter.

Source: http://www.wacotrib.com/news/fire/waco-firefighter-fired-after-gun-arrest-alleged-bandidos-affiliation/article_f3bd1f89-2c33-5896-a466-30a1026f915a.html

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