LOUISBURG, Kan. (KCTV) - Night Train Run, a charity motorcycle ride, ended in chaos Saturday.
Bikers were turned away from their stop in Louisburg, which caused nearby businesses to lose money and kids to lose out on toy donations.
“It’s been going on quite a while,” said Organizer Michael Bergen. “This ride enables us to take care of 12,000 kids every year.
Bergen uses the rides to collect toys for underprivileged children every year.
“It should have never happened,” Bergen said. “I’ve never had this problem with law enforcement in 51 rides over 26 years.
Bub’s, which is a veterans bar in downtown Louisburg, was slated to host a stop on the ride.
“We went and got our permits,” said Dawn Rally, who own’s Bub’s. “We went to the city council meetings. We adhered to what they said.”
However, when bikers arrived, chaos ensued.
“The whole run dissipated,” Bergen said. “People started scattering. There was no auction. It was a mess.”
Louisburg Police Chief Josh Weber said the details laid out in the planning, such as street closures and motorcycle numbers, were vastly different on the day of the ride.
“We never did shut it down,” Chief Weber said. “The choice was made by the event promoters because of the lack of communication between the city and the promoters.”
While Chief Weber calls it a big miscommunication, Rally thinks it was targeted.
“I think it’s retaliation,” Rally said. “They don’t want a biker bar. They don’t want me here. They want to push me out and what better way.”
On Wednesday night, a meeting was called specifically so there could be a debrief regarding this incident. There, Louisburg showed body camera video to the city council.
“The entire governing body viewed the video and the sentiment in the room is that no one knew where the social media rhetoric was originating from,” said Weber.
At the end of the day, Rally said her bar suffered a big financial loss. Bergan said kids will miss out on receiving toys this Christmas. He wants an apology from the police chief, but also said he will never take the ride back to Louisburg again.
Chief Weber said the ride can come back to town any time.
“I don’t want to cast judgement on anyone as far as why it panned out the way it did, but we would welcome them back,” Chief Weber said.