by Ron Wood

Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette

February 12, 2016

FAYETTEVILLE — A former Texas cop has filed a federal lawsuit against the mayors and police chiefs in Fayetteville and Fort Smith over loud bikes at motorcycle rallies in their cities.

Ricky Dale Holtsclaw of Uniontown sued last week in U.S. District Court in Fort Smith. The lawsuit names Sandy Sanders, mayor of Fort Smith, and Kevin Lindsey, police chief. It also names Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan and Police Chief Greg Tabor.

Holtsclaw isn’t represented by an attorney.

The lawsuit contends noise laws are being violated by the use of loud, aftermarket or modified exhaust systems on motorcycles and nothing is being done to stop it.

The lawsuit seeks $500,000 from each defendant and an injunction that terminates all motorcycle rallies in the state until a policy is in place to protect the public from “the audible assault perpetuated by illegally equipped, illegally loud motorcycles.”

Holtsclaw said he also wants a state law to require quieter mufflers on motorcycles. City noise ordinances should be enforced at all rallies, and Arkansas State Police should monitor rallies to make sure local officials enforce noise ordinances because they haven’t done so, according to the lawsuit.

Fayetteville City Attorney Kit Williams said the case has no merit and he expects it to be dismissed fairly quickly.

Williams said he doesn’t think Holtsclaw has standing to sue because there’s no indication Holtsclaw has been to Fayetteville during a Bikes, Blues & BBQ rally. Holtsclaw lives some 30 to 40 miles from Fayetteville in a very rural area in Crawford County, Williams said.

Bikes, Blues & BBQ has been held each fall for the past 17 years. Fort Smith hosts the Steel Horse Rally in April.