A Hillsborough County firefighter and emergency medical technician who also acknowledges membership in an outlaw motorcycle club is facing a charge of battery on a law enforcement officer after a weekend incident in St. Petersburg.
The arrest of 32-year-old Clinton N. Walker of Bradenton, follows just days after an ABC Action News I-Team report about two fire captains, including another member of his Hillsborough department, serving as presidents of local chapters of outlaw motorcycle clubs identified by federal authorities as criminal gangs.
Walker's arrest came after St. Petersburg police were called early Saturday to the Del Mar Gastro Lounge at 243 Central Ave., where a man had been knocked unconscious. The injured patron was later hospitalized with a cracked skull and bleeding on the brain, according to a police report.
A witness told police that Walker hit the man. When police tried to detain Walker, they say he became combative and officers needed to use a Taser to subdue him. Police also charged another Hillsborough firefighter, Robert Ramirez, with obstructing or resisting law enforcement without violence.
In a telephone interview Tuesday, Walker denied hitting anybody last week and told the I-Team that he is confident that various videos capturing his altercation with police will exonerate him.
In four short video clips provided to the I-Team, Walker is seen wearing a shirt with the name and logo of the Outlaws, one of the bike gangs that has been labeled a criminal organization by federal agents. Walker says police told him to put his hands behind his back.
"They assume he did something wrong because of the patch he wears on his back," said Walker's attorney, Jerry Theophilopoulos of Tarpon Springs, who provided the cellphone camera clips. "He's literally standing there with his hands behind his back and then they Tasered him to the ground. And then they continued to Taser him."
The I-Team doesn't have a full video of the entire incident, but Theophilopoulos believes the bar's surveillance camera will reveal the rest.
Walker says he is proud to belong to the Outlaws and disagrees with the feds labeling them as criminals. A Hillsborough firefighter since 2006, Walker says he served in the Marine Corps and fought in Iraq.
The I-Team found an online photograph of Walker posing with James Costa, a Hillsborough fire captain whom law enforcement contends is the president of the local Outlaws chapter. In addition to Costa, the I-Team reported last week that law enforcement has identified Pasco County fire Capt. Glen Buzze as president of another outlaw motorcycle club, the Pagans. Neither Costa nor Buzze has a criminal record.