By Ed Runyan
City officials are taking a page from their successful shutdown of eight massage parlors in 2012 to attack the Forever Two Wheels Motorcycle Club by asking a judge to shut down the club’s Chestnut Street Northeast clubhouse.
The request for a permanent injunction shutting down the building as a nuisance was filed Thursday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court. The request follows a Saturday gunfight at Shorty’s Place, a Warren Township bar, where David H. Bailes Jr., 45, FTW club president, is accused of fatally shooting two members of the rival Brothers Regime motorcycle club.
The injunction request, filed by Warren Law Director Greg Hicks, says the 21/2-story home at 338 Chestnut, about three blocks north of the Trumbull County Board of Health, has been used to “convene, plan, organize and mastermind gang activities” since March 2012.
A hearing on the city’s request is scheduled for 11 a.m. next Friday before Judge Andrew Logan.
The injunction request alleges FTW has used the Chestnut Street home to engage in a pattern of criminal gang activity on multiple occasions, including at least two times in the past year. The filing includes photos taken June 20 of the home, including ones of the club’s name and logo. Other photos appear to show a game and meeting room.
The filing alleges that James Shank of South Park Avenue, the statutory agent for the club, knows of illegal activity taking place in and around the building and has permitted or committed that activity.
The filing asks that the city be permitted to remove all personal property and contents of the building, sell off the items, and that the building be padlocked or otherwise closed for one year and that only law enforcement be allowed to enter the building.
Club president Bailes, who has addresses at the Chestnut Street clubhouse and in Leavittsburg, also was hit by gunfire in the Shorty’s Place incident and is in serious condition in a Cleveland hospital. Two other members of the Brothers Regime also were hit and are recovering at area hospitals.
The two who died are Robert A. Marto, 54, of Cortland; and Jason C. Moore, 41, of Bristolville. Marto’s obituary called him president of the Brothers Regime and said his nickname was “Chopper.”
The other two Brothers Regime members who were injured are Andrew G. Claypool, 50, of Girard; and Walter M. Hughes, 41, of Warren.
Bailes is charged in Warren Municipal Court with two counts of murder, but he has not made a court appearance because of his condition.
An affidavit written by Wayne Mackey, a detective with the Warren Police Department, says investigators recovered 36 shell casings at the bar, an indication of the chaotic nature of the 12:25 p.m. gunbattle.
A witness told police Bailes was seen buying other members of the FTW drinks, and a few minutes later, Bailes and members of the Brothers Regime were seen arguing in the front doorway. Gunshots rang out soon afterward.
The two men who were killed were shot in the head, police said. Fifty to 60 people were still at the bar when police arrived. Many others were fleeing, apparently including Bailes, police said.
Shorty’s is about a half mile south of Warren city limits, but Warren police detectives are leading the investigation, apparently because the shootings involved rival motorcycle clubs that have had previous battles in Warren.
The three Warren detectives assigned to the case worked on it nearly 30 hours in the first two days.
FTW has 10 members, the affidavit said. It named three of them, in addition to Bailes.
It said Danny B. Parker II, 29, of Warren Township and Charles Dellapenna, 22, of Warren were charged in Warren Municipal Court after a female reported being assaulted by FTW members April 8.
It also said Charles V. Moorhead was convicted of three counts of felonious assault and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm in April 2014 for shooting three members of the Brothers Regime at the Powerhouse bar in Warren Aug. 30, 2012. Moorhead, 37, of Warren, was sentenced to three years in prison, according to court records.