Local motorcycle group speaks out against recent violence

Published: May. 16, 2023 at 5:40 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The FBI and law enforcement agencies up and down the east coast are on high alert with bike week happening in Myrtle Beach and another at the end of the month in Atlantic Beach in South Carolina.

The Richmond County Sheriff says they’re also on high alert here because the threat of retaliation is real.

“We got information that the groups may be mobilizing to come to Augusta, and we started coordinating with other law enforcement agencies,” said Sheriff Roundtree

That threat isn’t just here, it’s all along the coast as bike weeks rev up.


Captain Justin Wyatt with the Horry County Police Department said: “We are up-staffing more than normal, by a slight increase based upon last year’s numbers of bike week participants, arrests stats, and calls for service.”

But underneath the ink, dark leather, long beards, and loud bikes, one member says not all bikers are on the same mission.

Sharon Taylor with the Patriot Guard Riders said: “We don’t want everybody thinking that every motorcycle that they see going through Kroger parking lot, is in part of a gang because that’s just not the way it goes.”

Aiming to give back to a community, not create harm.

“The biker community in general is phenomenal. They’re giving back they’re doing everything that they can,” said Taylor.

Taylor has been a part of the Patriot Guard Riders since 2011.

“My first ride with them was what they consider a happy mission. And we were actually bringing soldiers home from the airport. We went to the airport; we rolled out a white a red carpet. Yes, we went out to the airport, and they rolled red carpet out and I cried like a baby,” she said.

But when bad apples leave 150 shell casings in their wake, she says the stigma shifts.

“It’s a strong line when we say a motorcycle club for people not to think a motorcycle gang. And it’s just it’s very bad. It’s always been a bad stigma,” said Taylor.

Taylor is hoping this shootout doesn’t overshadow the good so many bikers are trying to accomplish here at home.