David Arthur Clinger Arrest
By Tina Peng Of The Morning Call Former professional bicycle racer David Clinger, known for the tribal tattoos across his face and scalp, was arrested early Monday after a Berks County bar fight and remained in the county prison Thursday, police said.
Clinger, 28, of Woodland Hills, Calif., was charged with harassment, disorderly conduct, defiant trespass and resisting arrest at the Toad Creek Bar in Topton. He went to prison under $5,000 bail.
Clinger, who recently competed at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome, rode with Lance Armstrong on the professional U.S. Postal Service cycling team in 2002 and attracted media attention in 2004 for the facial tattoos.
According to the arrest affidavit, he had harassed bar patrons, refused to leave the bar and grabbed a woman by the waist, dragging her to the floor. When police arrived about 1 a.m. Clinger was struggling with patrons and screaming loudly; he fought with officers until he was taken into custody, the affidavit says.
A witness described Clinger as ”covered in tattoos,” the affidavit said.
Clinger has been racing at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome in Trexlertown, said Velodrome CEO Erin Hartwell. He and a partner placed fifth in June 30′s Madison Cup for tag-team racing, and Clinger was scheduled to compete in Tandemonium July 22 at the Velodrome, Hartwell said.
Clinger showed early promise as a strong uphill sprinter but hasn’t really followed up on that in recent years, said Neal Rogers, a senior writer at competitive cycling magazine VeloNews.
Clinger won a stage of the Tour de Georgia in 2003 to place eighth overall. In 2000, he competed in the Vuelta a Espana, or the Tour of Spain, one of Europe’s three Grand Tours along with the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia.
”To ride in one of the Grand Tours, you’re definitely in the top of the sport, even to be on the start list,” Rogers said.
But Clinger has yet to win any ”huge” races and this year competed as part of an amateur and not a professional team, Rogers said. Most recent reports focused on Clinger’s prominent tattoo. Modeled after the war markings of New Zealand’s Maori warriors, it angered managers of Webcor, his team at the time. They ordered him to remove part of the tattoo for fear that it would upset sponsors.
In compliance, Clinger began removing the tattoos on the lower half of his face. His notoriety for those decorations may outshine any of his accomplishments on two wheels, Rogers said.
”He’s not somebody that will go down in the annals of American cycling history, except for maybe that tattoo,” Rogers said.