Monday, November 15, 2010

Pechanga Tribe mistreats Biker Veterans? But they were going to welcome Mongols? UPDATED

As we have written already, The Pechanga Band has treated their tribal veterans shabbily, including decorated war veterans.  Now, it appears they have treated some other veterans and their wives terribly too.  The Mongols reference goes back to June 2008 when the Mongols were going to rally at Pechanga, before holding their get together on the La Jolla reservation.

From the Biker's of America Website, there's this telling of what happened at Pechanga's "Veterans Eat Free" promotion:

Hi Gill,
I contacted CBS News, NBC News, and ABC News regarding Pechanga's treatment
of the Vietnam Vets. This was done by filling out a form online. Here is what the form said:

Several Vietnam Veterans went to Pechanga Casino today on their motorcycles for the advertised event "Vets Eat Free" at the buffet. They called in advance to make sure they could wear their Vietnam Vet patches on their vests and were given approval.

Security pulled them out of line and told them to leave. They did not want "bikers" at the buffet and they would be arrested for trespassing. The vets explained that they had called in advance. Security allowed them to eat, with a guard present, and then made them leave the casino premises.

I think this is a shameful way to treat our vets and should be looked into further. I BELIEVE THE TREATMENT OF THESE VETS WAS UNAMERICAN. You can call Gill Mellen for more info. His number is 949-xxx-xxxx. Thanks.

In addition, I had email addresses for several reporters from a previous project. I sent them a separate email, of which I copied you. I also filled out a form online with Pechanga Casino with the same info. Attached are the names and contact for several newspapers in that area and information for the Pechanga Band of Indians, which is the tribe that overseas the casino. I think it would be a good idea if all the members sent letters to the editor and letters to both the casino and the tribe
regarding the poor treatment. It should be done quickly.

Let me know your thoughts. MJ

VETERANS, it's time to show Pechanga your moral outrage by NOT visiting the casino or hotel.  Avoid shows at the casino.    Send the tribe, headed by Mark Macarro a fax (951) 695-1778 letting them know WHY you are not patronizing them anymore.    Pechanga likes their felons, but don't appreciate their veterans.

UPDATE:    This is from the comments section of another post:


On Thursday, November 11, Veterans Day, eight Veterans, seven Vietnam Vets and one active duty Marine, as well as two of their wives, were threatened with arrest and told to leave the Casino.

After leaving the Menifee Veterans Memorial Dedication ceremony in Menifee we headed to Pechanga for the complementary buffet offered to honor Veterans. While in line for about 20 minutes we were approached by Pechanga Security and told we would have to leave because we were wearing our vests with a mc on the back. MC stands for Motorcycle Club. Also on the back of the vest was a patch that said VIETNAM VET, and USA , THE COUNTRY WE FOUGHT AND MANY DIED FOR. Lt Jim, of their Security, said he would have us arrested for trespassing if we did not leave. As Vietnam Vets, this was the same treatment we received in 60’s and 70’s. This is the year 2010, you would think that Veterans deserve more, not this. It was embarrassing and humiliating to be treated with such disrespect in front at least 40 patrons, who could not believe what was happening.

I, Robert Ingersoll, a former Marine and retired school teacher of 35 years, had called the Casino a week earlier to make sure that wearing our vests would not be a problem. I was assured that it would not be a problem by SGT Moreno (spelling may not be right). He said he would tell everyone in the days briefing that Veteran Motorcycle Clubs may be attending. We have been in many other Casinos in the area, without a problem. In fact the Vietnam/Legacy Vets, along with the Rez Riders, an Indian Motorcycle Club, have sponsored Toy runs for Years at other Casinos.

There are many Veteran Motorcycle Clubs in the area, Vietnam Vets, Legacy Vets, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion Riders, Brotherhood of Marine Corps Riders, Leathernecks, Rough Riders, and many more.

There have been court cases that state: DESCRIMINATION AGAINST BIKERS ON THE BASIS OF CLOTHING OR MOTORCYCLE CLUB MEMBERSHIP IS ILLEGAL IN CALIFORNIA. Unruh Civil Rights, Act CC 51et seq and Cohen V California, a Supreme Court ruling, that stated that individuals have the right under the First Amendment to wear clothing which displays writing or designs.

The last time I looked, Pechanga Hotel and Casino is in California and part of the United States.


After leaving Pechanga we headed to Applebee’s on highway 79 in Temecula. There we ate, were treated with respect and dignity, and the manager ask to take a picture of us for their wall. Pechanga should send its staff to Applebee’s for training on how to truly honor and respect Veterans.

Robert Ingersoll

Murrieta , California
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