LITTLE ROCK, AR – Spend some time around the bikers who make up the Arkansas chapter of the Punishers Motorcycle Club and you will quickly learn they will stand their own ground at any cost for one of their brothers and their community.
Many members know a lot about homicide, robbery, assault, burglary. Safe to say, for some, it’s their business.
“We are law enforcement based, so we except law, fire and EMT. Law abiding, like-minded people. We are picky about who we let in. We have a quality group, the best guys I’ve ever me in my life,” said Joey Slayton.
As we’ve seen, some don’t lean on the side of the law, let alone enforce it.
They are known as one percenters–the one percent of all clubs involved in illegal activity.
The Hells Angels and Bandidos for instance have their own agendas and it’s a foregone conclusion, clubs will eventually occupy the same space. In Waco last month, with 9 dead after a shoot out, things can go south…fast.
“Most of the ones we run into have been courteous and friendly, some have not. We handle every situation the best we can.”
In the old days situations were handled differently.
“Back then if you crossed the line, you’d lose your bike, your life or wake up spends 6 months in the hospital to heal up and figure out where you are going to move to,” said Mike Brewer.
As a law enforcement based group, the Punishers do not have the same social calendar as one percenters, but they love riding together, and reaching out through events involving family, helping the community and those in need.
“You’re acting as a group, a brotherhood trying to do things that are good for your community do things that are good for your family and for family of everybody around you,” said Robert Haskett.
We take care of each other if somebody needs help we are there for each other,” said Slayton.
The Punisher name and philosophy of community service is not local. There are 53 charters across the United States and in 7 countries. Arkansas playing a key role, Punisher member Joey Slayton is the International Vice President.
“In fact, just before you got here I was talking to one of our buddies in France,” he said.
The group prides itself in family involvement. Kids ride with moms and dads and events are centered on the family.
“We walk in a restaurant you get the looks as soon as they see laughing and joking around with kids they realize we are not the sons of anarchy we are something else,” said Slayton.
And often, it’s the out reach the group is involved in that reels in prospects.
“Turns out, husband and wife both lost their jobs at Christmas time so the club pitched in and bought the family Christmas. As soon as Joey got up and spoke and said you’re one hard times so we bought your family Christmas, I looked at Larry and said, ‘I’m in , I want to be part of people like this,’ ” said Rusty Page.
Next time you see the Punishers banner thundering down the road. It will be, for fun, family, community or a good cause
It is their declaration of intent, so no one will be confused.