Two suspects arrested for May fight at local restaurant that left man critically injured

STAFF REPORT :::

The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office has taken into custody two motorcycle club members suspected of severely beating a man in a May 2021 fight at Big Jim’s Wing Shack.

Deputies responded to the May 1 call in reference to a fight, and upon arrival, located a man who had been critically injured.

“According to witnesses, several members of the 1% Pagans Outlaw motorcycle gang entered the business as the victim and his friend were singing karaoke. One of the Pagan Outlaws started a fight with the victim and when it was over the victim was left severely beaten, suffering a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain,” said Sheriff Darrell Dix. “The suspects then ran before the responding deputies arrived.”

Authorities say SCSO investigators from the Criminal Investigation Division and CAGE Unit worked to identify suspects, but the trail grew cold with no positive identification made. In the months following the incident, investigators continued to follow new leads and began working with state and federal agents, as well as local law enforcement agencies in Georgia and multiple out-of-state jurisdictions, efforts that ultimately led to the suspects’ arrests.

“Both Criminal Investigators and CAGE Investigators believed that the suspects were not identified because they were not from this area. The Pagan Motorcycle Gang has members spread across the United States and that slowed the identification of the suspects. The area involved in the investigation was spreading so we partnered with agents from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms,” Dix said. “We exchanged information about the Pagans and photographs of known members in our effort to identify the perpetrators. With the help of the GBI and ATF, as well as additional witness interviews, a positive identification was made of the Pagans responsible for the beating.”

The suspects were identified as 40-year-old Dustin Wendelin, of 131 SE 3rd Avenue, Milton-Freewater, Ore., and 29-year-old Charles Montgomery, of 84283 Highway 339, Milton-Freewater, Ore.

Officials say Wendelin and Montgomery are active members of the Pagans Motorcycle Club.

Investigators also learned that Wendelin, who was allegedly serving as the chapter president of the Pagan’s territories in Washington State and Oregon, has been employed as a correctional officer at the Washington State Penitentiary facility since 2011.

“On October 6, 2021, investigators with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office flew to Washington State and arrested Wendelin, who had been in custody September 9, 2021, in Walla-Walla, and Montgomery who had been in custody in Oregon. Both are also facing charges stemming from an extensive investigation relating to crimes committed by the Pagans Outlaw Motorcycle gang by authorities in Washington State and Oregon,” Dix said. “Due to the severity of the charges, criminal street gang affiliation, and high potential for violence during the transport, I sent members of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team, Special Operations/CAGE Investigators, along with Transport Team Deputies to bring them back from Washington State and Oregon. They were also accompanied on their flights by agents with the Federal Air Marshal Service.”

Wendelin and Montgomery have been charged with aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and three counts each of violating the Georgia Criminal Street Gang Act. Additional warrants may be obtained for other charges as the investigation continues.

Both suspects are currently being held in the Spalding County Jail without bond.

“The arrest of these individuals and their transport back to Spalding County was the culmination of a joint effort by Spalding County investigators and the other agencies involved, including the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, United States Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jones County Georgia Sheriff’s Office, Walla Walla County Washington Sheriff’s Office, Milton-Freewater Oregon Police Department, Umatilla County Oregon Sheriff’s Office, Seattle Washington Port Police, and the Federal Air Marshal Service. We are proud of the working relationships we have forged with other agencies whether they need our help and resources, or we need theirs. These arrests were the result of those strong relationships,” Dix said. “Wendelin and Montgomery thought they wouldn’t be tracked across the United States. They felt confident that they were safe at home in Washington and Oregon, they were as far away from Spalding County as they needed to be, and I guess they thought wrong. A great idea for them would be to not come here and do dumb stuff in the first place. Don’t do dumb stuff and hurt people and you won’t have to worry about where to hide or getting caught. To us it doesn’t matter what gang they are affiliated with whether its crips, bloods, ghost face gangsters, pagans, the klan, offshoots of these, or others; they are all the same. They victimize and terrorize innocent people, and they destroy families (sic all).”

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Comments

  1. Mitch rapp says:

    What a complete crock of bullshit Nothing happened here but a monumental waste of taxpayers money

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