Outlaws Motorcycle Club members charged with beating man in Bay City bar

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BAY CITY, MI -- Two members of a motorcycle club are facing criminal charges for allegedly beating a man in a bar after he slighted them.

Just before 1 a.m. on Dec. 27, police responded to the Whyte Goose Inn, 108 State St. in Bay City, after a bartender called 911 to report an assault had just occurred. Bay County Central Dispatch relayed to the officers that two members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club had caused a ruckus in the bar and had done so earlier in the night at Stables Martini & Cigar Bar, 804 E. Midland St.

The two subjects left the bar before officers arrived, separately driving away in a pickup truck and an SUV, court records show.

Upon officers' arrival, they found a 49-year-old man lying facedown on the floor. The man complained of pain in his neck and back and said he was having difficulty feeling with one hand. He had also suffered two lacerations to the left side of his head. He was transported to McLaren Bay Region hospital for treatment, court records show.

Witnesses at the scene identified the assailants as Eric J. "Whiplash" Kerkau (also known by the surname Grzegorczyk), 46, and a 32-year-old cohort. They told police the victim had apparently had video of them on his cellphone, something which took exception with. Kerkau and his friend approached the man and told him he can't have images of them, as they are "black and white," referring to their club's colors, court records show.

The confrontation escalated to the point that the other biker exited the bar and tried goading the patron to follow him outside to fight. The man refused, prompting the biker to step back inside and, together with Kerkau, proceed to beat, punch, and kick him, witnesses told police.

Police later found one of the fleeing vehicles parked in the driveway of Kerkau's Bay City home. On Jan. 5, they stopped by Kerkau's place to speak with him about the incident, but he declined to comment without his lawyer present.

Police also went to the other biker's last known address and found he no longer lived there.

Authorities issued warrants for Kerkau and the other man on Jan. 12. The same day, Kerkau voluntarily appeared in Bay County District Court for arraignment on one count of assault with intent to cause great bodily harm less than murder, a 10-year felony.

The arraigning judge freed Kerkau on a personal recognizance bond and scheduled his case for a preliminary examination at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 31.

Kerkau's codefendant remains at large, wanted on the same charge.

The Outlaws Motorcycle Club was established in 1935 in McCook, Illinois. Since then, it has expanded to 28 countries. It has four Michigan chapters, including one in Bay City. In 2006, five members of the Bay City chapter were involved in a shootout with the Hell's Angels

Through its website, the club is adamant that it is not a criminal organization.

"We may not live by the rules of society, but we do live by its laws," the site states.

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