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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — A man who had argued with five motorcyclists ran them down with a stolen pickup truck, killing two of the bikers and seriously injuring another, police said Thursday.

Witnesses told police that the driver chased the bikers about a half-mile down a coastal highway Wednesday before hitting the victims and dragging them along the road in this Florida Panhandle (search) resort city.

'He pulled up behind the five motorcycles, hit the gas, and plowed right through them,' said Deputy Police Chief David Humphreys.

A woman died on the scene and a male biker was declared dead at Bay Medical Center in nearby Panama City. Another man was taken to the hospital in critical condition but upgraded to serious Thursday, Humphreys said.

The other bikers got back on their motorcycles and chased the truck. They alerted an officer in a marked Environmental Protection vehicle who joined the pursuit.

The driver of the pickup rammed the officer's vehicle after driving onto a dead end road, Humphreys said. 'The officer held the subject at gunpoint, when a shot went off,' he said, but he added that no one was injured during the struggle, which drew a crowd from a nearby bar and mobile home park.

Timothy E. Pilgren, 26, of Texarkana, Ark., was charged with two open counts of murder. An open count lets authorities hold a suspect until prosecutors or a grand jury determine the degree of the alleged crime.

The victims' identities were being withheld pending notification of their families, but Humphreys said they all were from Michigan.

The argument began when Pilgren tried to sell 'silver certificates' to the bikers and then made a derogatory comment, Humphreys said. He said one of the bikers punched Pilgren in the chest before they rode off.

Followup report:

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. - A man accused of deliberately ramming a stolen pickup truck into six Outlaws motorcycle gang (search) members, killing two, apologized from jail and said he wants to be executed.

'I did it,' Timothy Pilgreen told The News Herald of Panama City for Friday's editions. 'I wish I hadn't, but I did. My lawyer told me to keep my mouth shut, but I gotta say it, I just got to: I'm sorry.'

Pilgreen, 26, said he would ask for the death penalty because he fears retribution from the gang after admitting he ran over the bikers Wednesday as they rode on a coastal highway in nearby Panama City Beach (search).

'Dudes in (jail) been telling me they're going to kill me, but I ain't scared,' Pilgreen said. 'They want to stab me, I'll stab back.'

Pilgreen is being held without bond on two counts of murder, four counts of attempted murder and other felony charges stemming from a scuffle with an officer who chased and arrested him.

Deputy Police Chief David Humphreys said he has seen more bikers in town since the incident.

'It's our hope that they would allow this to be handled by law enforcement and the judicial system instead of it getting to a street-level thing,' he said.

Pilgreen said his argument with the bikers began after he went to a public pier and tried to sell them a silver certificate, a no-longer-issued form of paper money. 'They didn't like that I called them old, and one of these guys hauls off and punches me in the chest,' he said.

He said the bikers then laughed at him, hopped on their motorcycles and rode off.

'I was just enraged,' Pilgreen said. 'Just so mad and drunk that when they took off, I started following them.'

'It was madness,' he said. 'I just closed my eyes and pushed the gas and blam, blam, blam, just like that.'

Police said the six bikers were from the Outlaws chapter in Bay City, Mich. Nola Zietler, 47, of Bay City, and Donald Dunham, 61, of Brethren, Mich., were killed.

Pilgreen said he had stolen the truck after arguing with his wife and trashing the house two weeks ago in Texarkana, Ark. He blamed his rage on a history of drugs, alcohol and childhood abuse.

'I realize I made a mistake,' he said. 'I know I did something I shouldn't have and I know I can't take it back. I just wish I could. I'm not a bad person, but I've been so lost and so hopeless for so long.

309 Posts
I heard about this a few days ago. What puzzles me is why he was trying to sell a silver certificate to a biker gang, a coin shop or pawn shop would've bought it from him. Dude is loco.

4,804 Posts
What a horrible feeling that must have been .. to have somebody in a truck try to run you down and you can't outrun them. Like a nightmare.
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