EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, Mo. -- They're not the outlaws they're made out to be. That's the viewpoint of the leader of a "one-percenter" motorcycle club, which has drawn recent scorn from Clay County residents over plans for a weekend bike party.
"The whole thing has been overblown," Mongol Gary, Missouri leader for the Mongols Motorcycle Club, told FOX 4 News on Thursday night.
His club is planning a weekend get-together in Excelsior Springs this weekend, a gathering that was first reported by FOX 4 News on Tuesday. Mongol Gary spoke with reporters on Thursday at the club's headquarters on E. Truman Road in Independence.
"There's nothing to fear with the Mongols Motorcycle Club," Mongol Gary said. "We're not going (to Excelsior Springs) with any agendas."
In that interview, Mongol Gary said the image drawn of modern motorcycle clubs is inaccurate, emphasizing his members are well-behaved, professional people, some of whom have white-collar jobs.
"We're a motorcycle club. We're not a gang. We're not a street gang," Mongol Gary said.
He stood just behind a burnt orange-colored motorcycle, sharing details of his club's planned meeting at the historic Elms Hotel in Excelsior Springs this weekend. He expects as many as 200 members to assemble there. Captain Clint Reno with the Excelsior Springs Police Department recently told FOX 4 News he met with Mongols members, who assured him there was no reason for concern over the gathering.
The Mongols are an international society, which, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, is associated with numerous crimes across the United States, ranging from illicit drug deals to murders.
Mongol Gary says he's aware of those incidents, but says they're in the past. He says club members have performed numerous charitable works, which have been swept under the rug.
"They remember anything we've ever done bad and they forget everything we've ever done good," Mongol Gary said. "Most of the people who are in the Mongols Motorcycle Club are very professional people. We have doctors, lawyers, and professional people throughout our club."
Mongol Gary says he expects his members to begin arriving in Excelsior Springs on Friday evening. FOX 4 News contacted the Elms Hotel for a comment on Tuesday, and so far, our request has not been granted.