Bandidos roll into Grain Valley; Tensions high

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. - Grain Valley is a small Missouri town with a population of less than 13,000 people, but that is expected to grow over the Labor Day weekend by another approximately two thousand people.

The crowd is mostly due to the Bandidos Motorcycle Club which has chosen to host its annual rally in Grain Valley. It is known as a “one-percenter” motorcycle club - a name supposedly dating to a quote that 99 percent of motorcycle riders are law-abiding citizens - that dates back to the 1960s and was founded in Texas. The club is based primarily on the West Coast but is looking to grow their organization, according to the Grain Valley Police Chief Aaron Ambrose.

The rally has posted signs outside the Grain Valley Speedway marking that as the location on the private property. The property owner was not available for comment Thursday.

When  41 Action News crews tried to speak to the Bandidos Club, they were asked to leave and not take any video. But a representative did say, “We are just here to ride bikes and have a good time."

A stone’s throw away from the Speedway sits the city-run youth football practice field.

Shay Parra coaches 19 third-grade players and says the practices have been moved to a different field or canceled.  

"All of my parents have been asking are we habit practice and I just tell them no. Mostly for the safety of the kids. It's all about keeping the kids safe," said Parra. "I know that they do bring trouble and I just don't want 20 parents driving around, you know, maybe getting into trouble."

Down the street, a well-known bar called Charley’s Roadhouse let other patrons inside, but when we asked if they would be open for the weekend, we were less than welcome.

One woman closed the door on the crew and said, “I would like you to leave."

On Thursday the Missouri Highway Patrol assured the public that extra security has been put in place. Local, state and federal agencies are already swarming the town, including Grain Valley Police, Blue Springs Police, Jackson County Sheriff’s deputies, Missouri Highway Patrol and ATF.

"They are going to see a lot of motorcycle traffic. We don't want them to feel intimidated. We will have officers there to provide security and we will be monitoring the rally throughout the weekend," said Sgt. Collin Stosberg with the Missouri Highway Patrol, Troop A.

Local businesses like the Hot Pots Cafe just hope to pocket some extra cash and say they know of the Bandidos and are not concerned.

"We serve a lot of the Bandidos that live in this area. They come in on Sundays mainly for our buffet," said kitchen supervisor Kelly Byrem. “We're going to be open. We are just hoping that it brings in some good revenue for us."

The Missouri Highway Patrol says the Bandidos held last year's rally in Utah and has a club in Kansas City but cannot speculate as to why the club chose Grain Valley for this year’s rally.

The chief of police in Grain Valley did confirm that a letter went out to business owners from the Chamber of Commerce. It stated that there would be more people in town for the holiday weekend.

Bandidos isn't just in the U.S. According to its website, there are chapters in a total of 26 different countries. Some of those include new probationary chapters. Holland and England just added probationary chapters in the past couple of months.

Bandidos formed in 1966 in Texas and uses the slogan "We are the people our parents warned us about."

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