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Many had tattoos, beards, shaved heads or ponytails. Most were members of the Florida Warlocks, which law enforcement considers a dangerous outlaw motorcycle gang.

The stories they told focused on threats, intimidation, beatings, knives, guns and killings.

An estimated 300 to 400 outlaw motorcycle gang members live in the part of Florida that stretches from Tampa Bay through Orlando to Daytona Beach, according to Jim Dillman, a law enforcement officer on Florida’s West Coast who specializes in gangs.

“The American Motorcyclist Association said in 1947 that 99 percent of motorcycle riders are law abiding citizens but that 1 percent are thugs and criminals,” Dillman said.

That makes motorcycle gangs such as the Warlocks, Hells Angels and the Outlaws “1 percenters.” Some wear a patch that reads “1%er.”

“They’re very proud of that lifestyle,” Dillman said. “They don’t care about laws, about law enforcement and citizens. They only care about their club.”

Men seeking camaraderie

Most are white, middle aged military veterans who work at blue collar jobs, Dillman said.

“They find a kinship, a fellowship, a brotherhood with each other,” said Suzelle Miller, who for 12 years lived with David “Dresser” Jakiela, 52, a Florida Warlocks member. “Cut one and they all bleed.”

Jakiela and two other members of the Florida Warlocks were killed Sept. 30, 2012, in a shootout with a rival biker gang at the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in Winter Springs.

The club’s appeal, Miller said, “was being able to depend on and know that someone had your back, you had their back. It was unconditional. If you needed help, all you needed to do was call a brother.”

Said Dillman, “The club comes before work. The club comes before your family. The club and your motorcycle come before everything else.”

Many outlaw bikers are mechanics,
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some are truckers, others are tattoo artists. Jakiela was a project manager at an Orlando architectural company. One of the state’s witnesses in the Winter Springs killings works at a local attraction. are involved in crime, including gun trafficking, drug trafficking and violence.

In Central Florida, the Outlaws are the dominant motorcycle gang, Dillman said. The gang claims to have 16 chapters, including those in Orlando, Osceola County and Daytona Beach.

“Seminole County is considered to be Warlocks territory,” Assistant State Attorney Lisa Haba told jurors at David Maloney’s murder trial in Sanford on April 1.

Shootout in Winter Springs

Maloney, 54, of Longwood was the first of four defendants to stand trial, accused of murdering Jakiela and the two other Florida Warlocks. A judge threw out one count, and a jury acquitted Maloney of all but one attempted murder charge April 9. He may be retried later for that charge.

Co defendant Victor Amaro was convicted of two counts of second degree murder May 21. Another co defendant, Robert Eckert, was sentenced to 27 years in prison after being convicted April 26 of manslaughter and other charges.

The last co defendant, Paul Wayne Smith, is to stand trial July 14.

Each of the co defendants told Winter Springs police he acted in self defense.

Jakiela and four other Florida Warlocks pulled into the VFW parking lot the morning of the shootout, thinking they were taking part in a charity ride to raise funds for military veterans, according to testimony.

But the charity ride was being run by a rival group. Maloney had been president of the Orlando chapter of the Florida Warlocks but was kicked out and formed his own splinter group, which he called the Philly Warlocks.

That set off a territorial dispute, Maloney told jurors at his trial, and made him the target of threats, harassment, a drive by shooting and attempted knifing.

When the Florida Warlocks came wheeling into the VFW parking lot, Maloney’s group started shooting.

Maloney’s group had more firepower than the Florida Warlocks: 15 guns against two. In addition, bikers at the scene were found with more than a dozen knives, a set of brass knuckles, a meat hook and a baseball bat.

Born in California

Outlaw biker gangs began in 1947 in California, Dillman said. Military veterans had come home and were looking for brotherhood.

The Warlocks were founded in Orlando in 1967 by Tom “Grub” Freeland. Their Orlando clubhouse is just off Edgewater Drive north of Lee Road.
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