Act III Episode - The FBTF Meets
The Federal Barbarian Task Force - FBTF met in the Plate Room of the Flanders Hotel on the Ocean City boardwalk, and included representatives from Ocean City, Somers Point, the FBI Biker Gang Unit, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), New Jersey State Police gang unit and the New Jersey National Guard.
The meeting was chaired by the FBI Biker Gang Unit representative, who reported that since the race riots in Watts the previous week, when many people were killed and the Army’s national guard called in to restore order, raised the level of concern on the potential for this to evolve into a similar incident.
The Watts riots began when a white police officer pulled over and arrested a black man for drunk driving in a particularly bad part of town, and the violator’s mother appeared on the scene as her son was being handcuffed and placed in the back of the police cruiser. The policeman made a mistake by turning his back on the mother and the crowd as he put the young man in the back of his patrol car, and before the week was out dozens of people were killed, rioters were shooting fireman with rifles and the mayor refused to negotiate with hooligans or black ministers so the Army was called in to put out the fires.
Since Ocean City patrolman William Warren was black, and the Hells Angel who he ticketed for speeding had threatened to return on a Labor Day run with the rest of the gang and ransack Ocean City, this potential incident was being placed in the same federal category as Watts, Harlem and the South Side of Chicago, so federal emergency public safety funds were being made available, and both Ocean City and Somers Point were being furnished new Paddy Wagons, mobile communication command centers, riot gear and special trainers to give special instruction to the Riot Squads of both towns.
The FBI guy also announced that the Attorney General and President were taking special interest in this issue, and were being briefed on this situation, and may want to add his input before the meeting was over.
Ocean City Public Safety Commissioner D. Allen Stretch then said that this situation was under control, but new information was being developed daily and the chief of the OCPD Criminal Intelligence division, which was monitoring the hippies and suspected drug dealings at Shriver’s Pavilion, had some things to report.
The Chief said that since the seeding ticket Patrolman Warren issued in mid-May to one Ralph Hubert Barger – born October 8, 1938, of Oakland, California, has gone unpaid a warrant has been issued for his arrest. The problem, the chief noted, is that Ralph Hubert “Sonny” Barger was then and was in May incarcerated in a state prison for a minor offense, so a second warrant had been issued for UNSUB – unknown subject who had used Barger’s drivers license while he is in prison.
All eyes in the room shifted to Officer Warren, who was blushing read, and slipped down in his seat as the chief continued his report.
“Since Officer Warren was responsible for the ticket, and apparently didn’t compare the photo on the license with the person he issued the ticket to, he will be responsible for visiting Mr. Barger in jail and attempt to determine the identity of the person who impersonated him in Ocean City in the course of committing a crime and arresting him.”
Another federal officer sitting behind Warren tapped him on the shoulder and said he would assist him.
The officer from the ATF was given the floor, and he said that a new, young police officer from Somers Point, William Bader, the son of Lt. Bader, who was sitting nearby, was in training and would shortly be sent to Ohio to join the other undercover ATF agent who had infiltrated a one percenter biker club and first reported on the threat from the Hells Angels who had been ticketed and kicked out of Ocean City, to return on a Labor Day run with the rest of the gang and run rampage over the town, as they had done other places. His mission was to wait in Ohio for the Hells Angels to come through and try to join them as they headed for Ocean City, giving the FBTF an inside perspective of what they were up against.
The representative from New Jersey Governor Hughes’ office then reported that the New Jersey State Police were fully engaged in this effort, and will have many of their officers stationed nearby, their gang unit will be on the Ocean City boardwalk and the 300 man State Police academy cadets will be bused in and have a visible presence on the streets and boardwalk. In addition, the NJ National Guard has been put on alert status and will have 200 men ready for action throughout the weekend and 2,000 men on reserve at Fort Dix ready to be deployed with a two hours notice.
The FBI guy was then called to a phone that was set up on a desk, and after listening intently for a few moments announced that “the President of the United States has something to say to us,” and flicking a switch on the phone speakers crackled and a shallow sounding voice came on line.
“Ah appreciate all the hard work you boys have been doing to stem the tide of this serious threat to our communities, but we must take this seriously, and nip it in the bud so it doesn’t get out of control like the situation in Californ- i – a did last week. Now I’m depending on you guys to get to the bottom of this, and I have approved the governor’s request for assistance from the US Army and New Jersey National Guard, if it is necessary. And if the Army can’t do it, then I’m going to draft them angels and send them to Nam to kick those Congs in the arse, ‘cause they must be bad mother fuckers.”
Then the line went dead as the President apparently hung up, and the FBI guy, shuffling around and a little embarrassed by LBJ’s remarks, said sheepishly that, “The president has been very upset by the situation in Watts and all of the publicity over the motorcycle gangs, and he’s focused on doing whatever it takes to make this problem go away.”
Ocean City Mayor Waldman spoke up for the first time, saying that he appreciates all the work the various agencies and departments were putting into this effort to protect his city, and thanked Mr. Kirkman, who wasn’t present, for use of the Plate Room for this meeting, and that a new operations base was being set up on the second floor of Shriver’s Candy Store on the Boardwalk at Ninth Street, where the observation post that kept track of the hippies and drug deals at Shriver’s Pavilion would be used as a Command Post for the Federal Barbarian Task Force until the day after Labor Day.
It was then agreed to meet there on the Thursday before the beginning of Labor Day weekend and all operations would be run from there at that time.
The FBI guy then took a glass of wine from a tray held by Mr. Kirkman’s private waitress and valet in her black French maid uniform and he once again emphasized the need for complete secrecy and that there would be no press releases, leaks to the media or any discussion of their operations with anyone outside of the FBTF.
The Flanders hotel waitress would, later that night, tell her lifeguard boyfriend that “the Barbarians are coming,” and before the next day was out, it was common knowledge on the beach and boardwalk that the Hells Angels and some Barbarian Bikers were coming to Ocean City an ransack the town on a Labor Day run, and the news flashed through the grapevine and was making the rounds at the Point by evening.