Skip to main content

Complaint made over 'Aryan Cowboy' gang in Stillwater

Police are investigating a woman's complaint about the biker gang.

A Muslim woman says she had to be escorted to her car by wait staff after she was intimidated by members of a biker gang known as the "Aryan Cowboy Brotherhood" on Stillwater's Main Street this weekend.

Sophia Rashid, of Minneapolis, described her encounter with the gang, described by the ADL as a white supremacist group based mainly in Minnesota and Kentucky, in a Facebook post that has since gone viral.

She says she was at Leo's Grill & Malt Shop with her 4-year-old, and she was wearing a hijab when she noticed a number of small groups of men wearing "Aryan Cowboys" jackets.

In her post, which has been shared 16,000 times, she claims the men were locking eyes with her and making motions towards her.

She was helped by staff at Leo's, saying her server "snapped into action, recognizing the danger of the situation," and called on her coworkers to walk Rashid and her daughter to her car.

As she was being escorted on Main Street, she said several of the men crossed the street in her direction, where she said they began making comments towards her as they approached. She took several pictures of them as they neared her.

Rather than walk the three blocks to her vehicle, not feeling safe as more men wearing biker jackets showed up, Rashid says the Leo's workers took her to Hotel Lora, where she called the police and was later escorted to her vehicle by an officer.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Mayor 'saddened and disturbed' by report

Stillwater Police Department is investigating Rashid's complaint for possible criminal conduct, with Police Chief John Gannaway telling the Pioneer Press that the city is a popular spot for motorcyclists, and occasionally biker gang members.

Gannaway told the newspaper some gangs wear insignias that are offensive to others, and their activities are monitored by police when they're in town.

Mayor Ted Kozlowski meanwhile has said he is "saddened and disturbed" that Rashid and her daughter "didn't feel safe in our town."

"We welcome everyone here and do not abide racism or discrimination of any sort. I've reached out to Sophia to hear more about her experience and to assure her that she and her family are welcome here," he added.

"I've also reached out to my Chief of Police, County Attorney & County Sheriff. They are currently investigating the incident and I hope to know more soon including what action can be taken. I love this town and as Mayor I want everyone to feel safe in our community especially as the diversity of our residents and visitors continues to grow."

Rashid paid tribute to the teenage staff at Leo's, who offered protection to her and her daughter. 

Next Up

polymet mining

Court issues mixed ruling on PolyMet, orders more analysis on water permit

The court, however, overruled several challenges to the permit.

SPPD Kua person of interest 01-24-2022

Police release images of woman driving stolen Audi that had puppy inside

It's not clear whether she was involved in the vehicle theft.

J R Jones - Anoka County Jail 2021.10.16 - Resize crop

Fatal hit-and-run driver can avoid prison time with plea deal

He was charged with striking and killing a 56-year-old who was walking her dog.

Screen Shot 2022-01-24 at 11.21.49 AM

Alex Rodriguez: 'I'm not a Packers fan'

He was at Lambeau screaming "Cheese!" and "Let's go!" during the playoff game against the 49ers.

St. Paul Police Department

Woman killed in St. Paul's North End identified as 31-year-old

A 35-year-old man has been arrested in connection to the shooting.

police lights

Homes shot at randomly in Wisconsin; residents nearly struck

The people inside the homes were nearly struck, according to the  Juneau County Sheriff’s Office.

Levi Arneberg

Charges: Man killed roommate's 4 pet ferrets after argument

He told police he swears one of the ferrets was "laughing and breathing" as he kept shooting it in the head, charges state.

Minneapolis police

St. Cloud 27-year-old ID'd as victim of homicide near U of M

The shooting, which also injured two others, occurred Thursday near the 500 block of 15th Avenue South.

Related

Screen Shot 2020-11-01 at 7.29.23 AM

Police group issues complaint about book read to students in south metro

The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association wants the book removed.

Charges: Biker gang 'Hells Outcasts' assaulted bouncer at St. Paul bar

It followed a dispute over the right to display gang colors on the premises.

Pamela Cahanes

Ex-classmate of Stillwater Navy recruit arrested for her 1984 murder

Authorities in Florida announced they'd made an arrest on Thursday.

Body found in burned car confirmed as former Stillwater teacher

The 56 year old was reported missing on Saturday.

racist comments stillwater

Woman yelling racial slur at Stillwater protesters fired from salon job

Her husband, a longtime corrections worker, has been placed on investigatory leave.

Suicidal man with knife shot dead by police in Stillwater

The man died in hospital after the shooting at around 1 a.m.

urinal-1666092_1280

Stillwater students say 'Let Us Pee' after school bathrooms locked

Students are pushing back on moves taken by school administrators.