By Desiree Perez
By Desiree Perez
The first and second rules of fight club-don’t talk about fight club.
The third rule of fight club-don’t get arrested.
In March, the Riverside County courthouses will be choked with cases involving a local fight club.
The group members are mostly former Murrieta Valley High School football players. They started injecting illegal steroids and beating each other to a bloody pulp.
Now, maybe I’m missing something here, but getting my face smashed in by a friend isn’t exactly my idea of a good time. Still, I wouldn’t send someone to jail for thinking differently. It seems like a waste of time and money to take a simple backyard brawl to state court.
In this case, however, what started as a simple fight club became a street gang over the course of a year.
At first, the group would spar in a park. The suburban high school athletes turned thugs fought wearing baseball hats and dog tags with an FC logo for “fight club.” It looks like someone forgot the first rule of fight club. Uniforms aren’t exactly inconspicuous.
As the year progressed, so did the violence and the drug use.
Soon the suspects were snorting cocaine, ambushing those who disrespected them, and committing armed robberies with shotguns and tasers.
When police zeroed in, a floodgate of finger pointing opened throughout the group; so much for the second rule of fight club. Rolling over and crying to the police decimates any kind of macho image these guys are trying to create.
If their behavior in the interrogation room wasn’t dumb enough, take a look at the crimes. After an armed robbery of a Murrieta home, the gang walked away with Xbox games and controllers, a Versace glasses case, and a Toyota Scion which they abandoned soon after the crime.
Members are also accused of robbing a local LA Fitness. Among the stolen property were free weights and a couple of chairs.
That’s right; these idiots-I mean men, are now subject to sentences of up to 25 years for stealing some video games, a sunglasses case, free weights and chairs. I wonder how many people in federal prison are going to laugh at them when they ask what they’re incarcerated for.
Many in the community knew about the club, but chose to turn a blind eye until the situation got out of hand.
Wally Clark, the football coach at the time insists that only five of 12 suspects arrested were ever in his program and there is no evidence that they ever took steroids.
All of the physical and emotional symptoms of steroid use the students exhibited are, to Clark, easily explained. “Weight gain, acne, mood swings what does that mimic? Puberty,” Clark said.
I can believe that, since it’s completely natural for every pubescent boy to develop a body like Mark McGuire’s. With as much knowledge as he displays about steroids, Clark’s wife could have a beard and biceps bigger than his head and he’d say it was entirely normal.
School officials didn’t do anything since the fights occurred off campus. The parents plead ignorance or insisted that boys will be boys.
It’s no surprise that many of these parents maintain their children just aren’t capable of gang activity. One mother even walked into her son’s arraignment carrying a bible.
Undoubtedly, the 1999 movie “Fight Club” will be dragged into this case of excessive male aggression.
No matter how the defense lawyers try to spin it, you can’t blame “Fight Club” for the actions of these want-to-be badasses.
If they wanted to imitate the movie, they should have done us all a favor and skipped to the part where they shoot themselves in the head.