BY KIMBERLY C. MOORE FLORIDA TODAY
MELBOURNE - What was intended to be a tribute to a motorcyclist who was killed in an accident last month on Strawbridge Avenue turned into a confrontation in Melbourne on Saturday between about 60 motorcyclists and area law enforcement.
One cyclist was charged with disorderly conduct after being stopped by a deputy at Aurora and Turtle Mound roads, but the incident escalated at Bare Assets on U.S. 192 when other cyclists arrived there and were confronted by a sheriff's deputy. He called for backup and about a dozen deputies and officers from Melbourne and West Melbourne police responded.
According to members of the Warlocks motorcycle club, based in South Brevard County, the group planned a memorial in honor of Jo Jo Touzzo, who was killed in a motorcycle accident Nov. 14. They said they contacted the sheriff's office about an escort, but a voicemail message they left was not returned.
They conducted the memorial anyway. An estimated 60 motorcyclists rode along 192, blocking traffic, riding through stop signs and backing up traffic along the route toward Interstate 95. A sheriff's deputy managed to stop the lead rider at Aurora Road.
"We were trying to have a good time, but without the cooperation of the sheriff's office they put a squash on it," said a man who identified himself as the group's president.
According to sheriff's Sgt. Jon Potter, dozens of motorcyclists turned around, came back to the spot on Aurora Road and began threatening a deputy. One motorcyclist was arrested for disorderly conduct.
"The deputy out here was by himself, and was being approached by a group of about 50 people," Potter said.
A second confrontation occurred at the Bare Assets gentleman's club, where the cyclists concluded their ride. The president of the club calmed the group down.
No other arrests have been made, but some citations were being issued for various offenses, including expired tags.
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