PENDLETON — When Riven Fenton filed a $1.5 million lawsuit over injuries he received at a fight at Pendleton Bike Week in 2018, he didn’t just sue the bike week organization, but also the event’s private security and beverage supplier.
The lawsuit didn’t include the Brotherhood United Motorcycle Association, one of the groups Fenton identified as being behind his beating, even as it does include then-Brotherhood United President Al Rafferty.
Officials from Brotherhood United have said that Rafferty is no longer a member of their club and are disputing Fenton’s account of their role in the incident.
“We took care of (Fenton),” Alex Lofton, an Oregon sergeant-in-arms for Brotherhood United, said in an interview. “We weren’t part of the altercation.”
According to Fenton’s lawsuit, members of Brotherhood United and the Badgers MC Brotherhood were acting as security guards to a VIP area of the Pendleton Bike Week concert when they started antagonizing him as he tried to enter with a VIP pass. The lawsuit states that the bikers eventually started hitting him before he was able to escape under a trailer and tend to his wounds in a Pendleton Convention Center bathroom.
In the complaint, Fenton’s counsel claims Pendleton Bike Week was negligent in protecting him from injury and is now seeking more than $1.5 million for his medical bills, economic losses, and the pain and trauma from the event.
Lofton, the Brotherhood United member, said he was one of as many as 15 club members at the event who were there to help provide security at Pendleton Bike Week’s vendor area.
Lofton said Brotherhood United members were not involved in the fight with Fenton and the group didn’t get involved until Fenton went to the bathroom.
A former military medic, Lofton said he and another club member with emergency medical experience were contacted to help treat Fenton’s injuries in the bathroom. During that time, Lofton said he tried appealing to a Rovers Security staff member to bring in an ambulance, but was rebuffed.
Fenton eventually went to the hospital and the police arrived to investigate the incident. Although authorities were frustrated with the lack of cooperation from Rafferty and some of the other bikers on the scene, for his part, Lofton said he couldn’t offer much information to police on what happened before he arrived to help Fenton in the bathroom.
Rafferty left Brotherhood United shortly after bike week, and only a handful of Brotherhood members who worked the 2018 event remain with the club, Lofton said.
Brotherhood United has long disputed their involvement in Fenton’s beating, and Lofton said the recent report about the lawsuit made the group want to set the record straight. The club is also a nonprofit organization that works with veterans and does charity work around the state, including an instance in 2019 where they delivered Christmas presents to a Pendleton family in need.
When contacted on Aug. 10, Rovers Security President Jacob Turner also cast his company’s role in the fight in a more positive light.
Turner said Rovers was hired solely to provide security for the Pendleton Bike Week concert and not the rest of the week’s events. When the bikers started beating Fenton, Turner said a Rovers staff member jumped into the fray and helped Fenton escape under the trailer.
“If we hadn’t stepped in, he could’ve gotten worse than severe injuries,” he said.
Contrary to the other accounts, Turner said a Rovers supervisor called authorities as soon as they learned of the incident.
Rafferty did not return a Facebook message requesting comment by press time.
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Source: The East Oregonian