US pledges review for agents’ killing of notorious biker
OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Maine — He was known around town for riding his Harley, getting tattoos at the local parlor, and leading the local branch of the Outlaws motorcycle gang.
Thomas “Tomcat’’ Mayne, who was fatally shot by federal agents Tuesday at his home here on a sleepy cul de sac, also was accused of dealing marijuana and shooting a rival gang member outside a Hells Angels clubhouse last October.
Mayne, who was rewarded for that shooting, according to court records, with a Nazi-style lightning bolt symbol signifying an Outlaw hit, died early Tuesday after allegedly shooting at a SWAT team from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives who had come to his house with a warrant for his arrest and that of another Outlaw. An autopsy found yesterday that he died of multiple gunshot wounds.
Mayne, 59, the regional treasurer of the Outlaws, was one of 27 members or associates of the the gang from seven states who were charged in an indictment unsealed Tuesday in Richmond. A federal grand jury charged many of the defendants with racketeering in a criminal enterprise that prosecutors say was involved in attempted murder, kidnapping, extortion, illegal gambling, and drug dealing.
Around town yesterday, neighbors and shopkeepers described Mayne as someone they tried not to upset.
“He was a loudmouth,’’ said Lou Robbins, owner of the Mad Hatter’s Tattoo Studio on Old Orchard Street, where Mayne would stop to get body art. “No matter what it was, he knew everything. It was no secret that he was with the Outlaws.’’
Robbins said he was not surprised to learn about Mayne’s fate.
“It was his nature to shoot first,’’ Robbins said. “He was the kind of guy who would leap before he looked. He was always sounding off.’’
ATF officials said they are scrutinizing the attempted arrest.
“The shooting’s under review,’’ said James McNally, a spokesman for the ATF office in Boston, adding that it was the only fatal shooting by New England-based agents of the bureau in his memory. “There will be a thorough review.’’
ATF officials said they used a SWAT team because they viewed Mayne and Kenneth Chretian, who lived in the same house and was also indicted, as part of a “violent criminal enterprise.’’ They added that the agents were fired at when they arrived and later found a shotgun and a handgun inside the house.
Chretian was taken into custody at the scene Tuesday.
In Milwaukee on Tuesday, ATF agents served a search warrant at the American Outlaw Association headquarters, a black building adorned with red-eyed skulls over crossed pistons and a sign showing an extended middle finger. Arrested there was Jack Rosga, whom federal officials described as the group’s national president. The agents also carried out a number of boxes, plastic bags, and file folders.
At Mayne’s home, a contractor was installing boards yesterday on the shot-out windows of the small, brown-shingled house off a dirt road.
Neighbors on the street declined to talk, and local police officials did not return calls.
Jim Boutet, owner of Jim’s Auto Parts down the street from Mayne’s home, said he has sold used autos to Mayne for a decade. Mayne always made his payments on the pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles, and cars he bought over the years, he said.
“It’s pretty wild to know someone got shot up next door,’’ he said. “You don’t expect that around here.’’
He said he never had problems with Mayne. “He pretty much kept to himself,’’ Boutet said. “He could be pleasant, if he liked you. If he didn’t, he could be ornery.’’
On Old Orchard Street, the main corridor of this small beach town, some residents said they were unaware of the shooting. Others did not want to talk.
Christina Madore, who works at Dickinsons Ice Cream shop, said she has become accustomed to escalating violence in Maine.
“You hear about it more and more,’’ she said. “But I used to live in Florida, so this is really nothing compared to what you hear about down there.’’
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. David Abel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.