‘Hooters fight landed me in jail where I was recruited into notorious gang’

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    A bloke jailed for a fight in a Hooters car park said his imprisonment led to him being involved in one of the most notorious gangs in America.

    Jon Jon Bristow ended up as an enforcer for the Aryan Brotherhood, which has been described as the "oldest and most notorious racist prison gang in the United States".

    But the burly Texan electrician didn't share the gang’s racist beliefs and only joined the group because he was worried about being beaten up in jail. Jon was initially jailed after a punch-up in a restaurant car park that went horribly wrong.

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    “I got into an altercation outside of a Hooters,” he told podcaster Ian Bick. “This guy walks out…and he went to poke this girl in the face. When he did that, I decided to intervene.

    “I decided to get into the mix and try to save this lady but when I did this guy thought he was going to poke me in the face.” Jon dodged the punch and kicked his assailant. But the other man fell against a metal fence and was badly hurt.

    “He started bleeding out of his ears…so I just I took off.” Unfortunately for Jon, the CCTV evidence presented at his trial showed the roundhouse kick, but none of the action that had come before. A guilty verdict was inevitable, and Jon was sentenced to four years in jail.

    Jon had no idea how he was going to cope in prison. He recalled: “I'm hearing these stories in jail about how you've got to you've got to lay your demo down… you’ve got to go in there and make an example."

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    “Make no mistake, I'm scared. When they dropped me off at these gates like I'm looking around at all these grown men [that were] all tatted up. I didn't have none of that. I’m a big guy, so I had that going for me, but didn't even know what a gang was… I’m from a small town, that was foreign to me.”

    Jon had been told to seek someone out and give them a smack, to show that he wasn’t someone to mess around with. The inmates had all organised themselves into groups along racial lines, with all white prisoners at one table and all black lags at another.

    He continued: “Then I see this Mexican at a table by himself. I think to myself ‘He's the one. This is your first day in prison, he’s going to get the demo’

    “I just pushed this dude out of his chair and push his tray off on top of him and set my a** down like I'm claiming stake to this land.”

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    That violent assault saw Jon immediately placed in solitary, but when he was released into general population, he realised that his gamble had paid off.

    “They didn’t know that I was scared to death, they just thought I was this crazy-a** white dude,” Jon recalled. He was approached by leaders of the Aryan brotherhood gang, who said they’d protect him inside – for a price.

    Jon added: “The kind of s*** I had to do to become a part of this gang was was kind of was vicious. I laid a lot of a**-whoopings down. I carried out a lot of different stabbings… whatever was necessary.

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    Jon said he’s not at all racist, but had to pay lip service to the gang’s rules in order to get their protection. “I said that I will never live outside of my race, I will never marry outside of my race, and that we're building this thing for the next generation of white people.”

    A lot of the time, though, the violence wasn’t racial. The Brotherhood would fight rival white gangs, and Jon was even ordered to stab members of his own gang who hadn’t paid their debts.

    After a year, he had earned his “patch,” a tattoo that signifies start he was a full member of the gang. “I had forced myself to kind of believe some of this horses*** that they were telling me, and I don't really know if it was out of fear, or if I just wanted to be a part of something,” he says.

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