Breaking News Emails
A neighboring restaurant that says it was "caught in the crossfire" of a Texas biker gang shootout that left nine people dead has filed suit on Thursday against the eatery where the brutal brawl started.
Don Carlos Mexican Restaurant in Waco, Texas, which is across the street from where the shootout took place, has filed a lawsuit against the owner of local Twin Peaks as well as its parent company, according to the filing.
The lawsuit alleges that Peaktastic Beverage LLC, which owns the Waco Twin Peaks location, was "grossly negligent" in operating the franchise, according to a statement released by Don Carlos Restaurant's law firm. The plaintiff's restaurant was "caught in the crossfire of motorcycle gang members and law enforcement agents" during the shootout on May 17 and forced to close for several days, according to the statement.
The suit also claims that Twin Peaks' owner encouraged biker gang members to meet at their establishments nationwide through sponsored events catering to the groups.
"Twin Peaks had been repeatedly warned by law enforcement that such meetings were not wise, and that violence could likely result," the lawsuit says.
The restaurant is seeking more than $1,000,000 in punitive damages for lost from the deadly incident as well as costs of physical damage done to the restaurant. Don Carlos Mexican Restaurant was forced closed for three days following the Sunday shootout, according to the lawsuit.
"Twin Peaks didn't just add gas to the fire, it threw the match," Tony Buzzbee, lead counsel for the plaintiff, said in a statement. "Inviting armed rival gangs to a place where alcohol is served is not only unwise, it is reckless. All of the neighboring businesses are damaged, and Twin Peaks needs to be held accountable."
The suit names Peaktastic Beverage LLC, Twin Restaurant Investment Company and Front Burner Restaurants, the group that oversees the Twin Peaks chain, as defendants.
In the immediate hours after the bloody gang war, law enforcement criticized the restaurant for encouraging dangerous bikers to congregate there.
"We have attempted to work with the local management of Twin Peaks to get that cut back, to no avail," said Waco Police Sgt. Patrick Swanton on Sunday evening. "They have been of no assistance. ... Apparently, the management wanted them (the bikers) here."
The Waco Twin Peaks location had its franchise license revoked by the parent company after the shooting and has completely closed down. The owners could not be reached. The parent company and Front Burner Restaurants did not immediately return requests for comment.