Two Bikers for Christ who were asked to leave the Pumpkin Fair on Sunday by Manteca Police weren’t the only bikers told to do so unless they hid their patches.
Manteca Police Chief Dave Bricker said officers told bikers with three different clubs to either cover up their patches or leave. Bricker noted the other bikers complied and weren’t eventually told to leave by his officers.
“It is keeping with a policy we’ve had for years at events like the Pumpkin Fair,” Bricker said.
That policy prohibits the wearing of gang colors or bikers showing club patches on vests. It is designed to assure safety and promote the Pumpkin Fair as a family event. And like all policies applying to the public, Bricker said it doesn’t make exceptions.
“At least one of the other bikers said they understood about the city wanting to keep the event family orientated and complied.
Bricker added that a recent motorcycle gang-related shooting east of Manteca as well as violence in Sparks that led to a murder emphasized the need to keep the Pumpkin Fair policy intact.
Billy Rogers, one of the Bikers for Christ who was asked to leave the fair after they declined to comply by turning their vests inside out, said police were profiling them unfairly as being the same as outlaw biker gangs.
Rogers noted in a letter to the Manteca Bulletin that his club was thinking about riding in the Manteca Christmas parade as others biker groups have in the past. He doubt that they would participate if they were asked to remove their “ministerial colors.”
In past years police have told gang members to leave the Pumpkin Fair as well when they declined to remove their colors.
Bricker noted that the Pumpkin Fair went off without incident over the two-day period.