Biker files suit, says he was wrongfully arrested in Waco shooting

A biker who was arrested in connection to the shooting at the Twin Peaks in Waco last month is now suing, saying he was wrongfully arrested.

Matthew Clendennen, 30, was released from jail on Tuesday. His Dallas-based attorney has filed a civil lawsuit against specific Waco officers, the city, the county and the district attorney, accusing them of violating his client's civil rights.

Clendennen says that he had no idea that what was a regular gathering of biker groups would erupt into a shootout that left nine people dead.

He says that since his arrest two and a half weeks ago, his life has been shattered.

"Actually, several times I spoke out to some of the guys in there, stating, ‘This is just so unreal that we are sitting here in jail and have been for a couple of weeks for absolutely no reason,'" said Clendennen.

He says he was sitting on the patio at Twin Peaks on May 17 when he noticed a disagreement nearby in the parking lot.

The former firefighter-turned businessman, husband, father and Baylor graduate says he took cover in a nearby hallway.

"It was a constant gunfire," said Clendennen. "Seemed like it went on forever."

He says when he emerged, he saw scattered bodies.           

"We had to walk past several people laying on the ground…obviously died," he said. "There were people still trying to do CPR."

Clendennen, a member of the Scimitars Motorcycle Club, was arrested with 176 others. All were charged with engaging in organized crime, and their bonds were set at $1 million.

Clendennen's was later reduced to $100,000.

Clendennen's attorney, Clint Broden, says that Clendennen was an innocent person who was falsely arrested and imprisoned for 17 days.

"You just can't do that in America," said Broden. "Maybe you can do that in other countries…you have to have individual probable cause to arrest somebody. You can detain someone if you have reasonable suspicion, but to actually arrest them and put them in jail, you have to have probable cause."

Clendennen says his biggest concerns right now are his children and the injury to his reputation after being in the wrong place at the wrong time with some of the wrong people.

"You've got bad apples in law enforcement; you've got corrupt government officials," said Clendennen. "But that doesn't mean that it's right to collectively identify the entire organization."

So far, Clendennen is one of only 25 bikers who's bonded out.

The others remain in jail with hearings scheduled into July.

FOX 4 reached out to the parties named in the lawsuit.

So far, the only response was from police who referred us to the city attorney, but we have not heard back from her yet.

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