News Item: Police: Rally finishes peacefully
(Category: Biker News)
Posted by MJF
Wednesday 07 June 2006 - 10:49:32

South Bend Tribune

Police: Rally finishes peacefully
Officers had warned public of possible violence.

Tribune Staff Writer

SOUTH BEND -- A biker rally that police worried might turn violent last weekend reportedly ended Sunday afternoon without problems.

The ABATE motorcycle club hosted the annual fundraiser Friday through Sunday at the Crumstown Conservation Club on Crumstown Highway.

Police from multiple agencies cautioned the public last week that two rival motorcycle groups might attend the fundraiser and that altercations might ensue stemming from an earlier confrontation.

In April, more than 30 police cars from South Bend, St. Joseph County and Mishawaka responded to the St. Joseph County 4-H Fairgrounds to break up a melee between bikers.

But police on Monday said the weekend fundraiser came and went peacefully, likely because of extra police presence in the area. Along with local officers, officials from the FBI; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the U.S. Marshal's office were standing by.

"It wasn't really surprising," said St. Joseph County Police Sgt. Matt Blank. "We were out there in force."

Blank said the annual fundraiser's attendance was down from previous years, .

Calls to Crumstown Conservation Club seeking information about

numbers were unanswered Monday. An ABATE regional executive director also did not return a call Monday about the rally.

Police did make a few unrelated arrests during the rally, said Indiana State Police Sgt. Trent P. Smith, primarily license violations and for driving under the influence.

"We hope the increase (in police presence) made a difference," Smith said. "Exactly what we hoped for happened."

Blank said maintaining public safety was "a great joint effort with everyone."

Staff writer Alicia Gallegos:


(574) 235-6368

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