Bikers want Tuthill permit

2013-02-07T05:20:00Z 2013-02-07T18:16:02Z Bikers want Tuthill permitCYNDY COLE Daily Sun Staff Arizona Daily Sun
February 07, 2013 5:20 am  • 

Motorcyclists have applied to move the Too Broke for Sturgis rally to Fort Tuthill County Park late this July, where they propose to have bands, vendors and camping for about 2,000 people over three days.

This is a rally and fundraiser held for more than 20 years in Arizona, and was the setting of a murder-suicide in 2011, when the event was held at Mormon Lake. Several attendees who were detained and questioned sued the county sheriff's office, alleging violations of their constitutional rights.

Photos from last year's event show women baring their breasts to crowds; organizers say they plan more education this year for the 21-and-over event.

People in their 20s to 50s are the main audience for this public rally, largely from Phoenix, northern Arizona and Flagstaff.

The event's name refers to a famous bike rally held each year in Sturgis, S.D., that attracts several hundred thousand participants.

The group seeking permission to rent out some of Fort Tuthill's fairgrounds and all of its camping sites is called ABATE -- formerly an organization that fought helmet laws and restrictions on customized choppers, under the name A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments.

The group later changed its name to American Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education.


It will focus on licensing for motorcyclists at this event, said Paul Pendergast, one of the event organizers.

He declined to answer specific questions, but said the event plans tighter security and not to provide alcohol. Bikers would be allowed to bring their own.

Coconino County's Attorney's Office, Sheriff's Office and Parks and Recreation Department are all reviewing the group's application to rent out portions of Fort Tuthill.

The Coconino County Parks & Recreation Department has general guidelines that state the county's top priority is to provide events that are community-oriented, educational, and environmentally friendly.

"As with any event held at our many public parks, the safety and security of those in attendance and all users of the park is our greatest concern. The County and Sheriff's Office will work with the applicant to assure all safety and security issues and concerns are addressed.

"The review of applications also consider such points as park capacity for the event, impacts to other events or venues already approved, levels of support staff needed and the availability of the facilities requested.

"Only once all issues and concerns are resolved -- either with security or event details -- will this application be considered for approval. Please note that the County or its staff cannot discriminate against any one organization seeking to utilize a public park for an organized event," wrote Nathan Gonzalez, a spokesman for Coconino County.


The 2011 rally included a murder-suicide in Mormon Lake.

Deputies responded when Christian Tejada got into an argument with his wife, Desiree Tejada, over having guests over for dinner in the campground in July, 2011.

He shot and injured his wife and then turned the gun on their two guests, Edgar and Trina Atzin, killing the couple. Desiree Tejada survived being shot six times.

Some of those involved in a 2011 rally are also suing one of the county agencies that is supposed to decide whether the county park should host bikers this year.

Motorcyclists from the Sons of Hell motorcycle club filed suit last year against the Coconino County Sheriff's office for deputies' response to the 2011 murder-suicide.

The plaintiffs said club members, their spouses and families -- some of whom were in their underwear -- were forced from their tents and motor homes at gunpoint.

The bikers asserted they were held and interrogated for three hours on false information provided by a reportedly drunk rally-goer before being released.

The group also asserted that law enforcement was acting prejudicially on the belief that the group was an "outlaw motorcycle gang" with ties to the Hells Angels, and that this ultimately violated their constitutional rights to due process, free association and against unlawful detention.

Sun staff reporter Eric Betz contributed to this report. Cyndy Cole can be reached at ccole@azdailysun.com or at 913-8607.

Copyright 2015 Arizona Daily Sun. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(11) Comments

  1. Fromthemiddle
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    Fromthemiddle - February 10, 2013 1:57 pm
    Drinking and women "flashing" Sounds Like downtown Flg, Got my approval, what time does it start.
  2. Hayduke lives
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    Hayduke lives - February 09, 2013 10:50 am
    Why is the event not being held at Mormon Lake?

    Were you not welcomed back?

  3. Sasquatch
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    Sasquatch - February 08, 2013 9:18 am
    It came from the article. Irregardless isn't a word. "Curbs" below talks about it being a 21 and over event, what impact will this have on the Flag X-treme course? They cater to children, families use the park on weekends for a variety of recreational activities. Why should your desires to have a party trump their access to public land?
  4. 1 Old Timer
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    1 Old Timer - February 08, 2013 7:15 am
    These events are all the same... Just look at the names of the groups that show up at these events and the type of people. Sons of hell...women flashing, drunks, fire arms in the hands of people who should not have them and most likely have zero training. If a background check was done on the people that attend this event or a warrant search you would most likely not have room in the flagstaff jail to hold them all. Say NO to a permit approval. We don't need their money, or the expense. Vote NO
  5. MK
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    MK - February 07, 2013 6:13 pm
    ALL law enforcement and media stated that the murder/suicide could have happened ANYWHERE. That TRAGIC incident was NOT an event issue.

    "Their families were forced from trailers and tents? That implies children were present" Where does this come from??? No one under age 18 is allowed at TBFS. We want to keep it an adult event, No liquor is sold at the event. Come and enjoy a fun-filled biker-style weekend. Everyone is welcome, irregardless of what you ride, or even if you don't ride
  6. JT
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    JT - February 07, 2013 4:45 pm
    No way, this DOES NOT need to be near Ponderosa Trails or taking up our county parks. Go somewhere else...
  7. Sasquatch
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    Sasquatch - February 07, 2013 4:43 pm
    No thanks. A double-murder and a suicide, and people are suing the county? Their families were forced from trailers and tents? That implies children were present, but isn't it an 18 and older event? Go check out their website toobrokeforsturgis.com. What vendors sponsor the event? Looks like a lot of booze around vehicles to me. ABATE claims to be defenders of freedom but are against voter approved helmet laws? Families will not be able to use the park during this event...
  8. Too Broke for Sturgis 2013
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    Too Broke for Sturgis 2013 - February 07, 2013 11:27 am
    Come one come all, you do not have to ride a motorcysle to attend, we welcome everyone.
  9. Too Broke for Sturgis 2013
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    Too Broke for Sturgis 2013 - February 07, 2013 11:26 am
    Was asked if I had a comment on this event by the newspaper, I am on the TBFS Committtee, so yes I do. Too Broke for Sturgis 2013 is the 22nd Annual TBFS put on by ABATE of Arizona. It is an excellent event for vendors to display and sell their products, motorcyclists telling stories around the campfire, motorcycle skill events, bike games, rides around Flagstaff area, 1/3 of thse attendees stay in town at hotels/cabins, people games and walks on the trails, Live/DJ music. All Welcome!!!
  10. curbs
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    curbs - February 07, 2013 9:04 am
  11. curbs
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    curbs - February 07, 2013 8:59 am
    ABATE of Arizona, utilizing CCF for our annual Too Broke For Sturgis rally is really a no brainer. A larger venue for our needs, makes it VERY profitable $$$ for Flagstaff as well. IF you have never been to TBFS Rally, then come this year! There is a reason our event is 21 and over, have any questions about ABATE? Check out our Facebook page and Website.
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