Thomaston Police Department is currently investigating a non-profit organization called Bikers Against Abuse International out of Griffin and its founder, Paul Michael Libri.
Libri posted a video on Bikers Against Abuse’s Facebook page of an incident in Thomaston where he allegedly came to “assist” law enforcement with two teen female runaways last week. That video and his actions in the video are what spurred the investigation, according to Captain Monica Snipes, investigator with the TPD.
In the video, Libri alleges the teens could be victims of child sex trafficking. He also asks for donations multiple times for a sex trafficking crisis center he says he hopes to open in Thomaston at a cost of $300,000.
Libri was convicted on four counts of impersonating an officer in three different counties - Douglas, Fulton, and Cobb - dating back to 2013. Other charges Libri served time for were false imprisonment and identity fraud. Libri was released from prison in February 2020 and will remain on probation until 2035.
Capt. Snipes said, “The teens ran away from state custody. They were never in danger in Thomaston. Both were returned to state authorities without incident.”
Early that day, Libri notified TPD. He gave officers the impression that the girls were being housed in Thomaston and could be in danger.
In the hour-long video, multiple police officers gathered to go to the house around 1 a.m., with Libri following behind. He was recording the video the entire time, which appeared to be live. Libri makes comments throughout the video to imply the situation is dangerous:
“The police here, they have the whole police department here, been waiting on warrants all day.”
“Since 10 a.m. this morning, it’s now 1 a.m. I am sick as a dog, but it’s a kid, right? No, we can’t disclose our location, can’t do that. Can’t put anyone’s life in jeopardy.”
“It’s been a long day, long day getting this set up.”
“Don’t be putting my location on here, I will ban you from this video. If you know where we are and you put what town we are in, and we don’t rescue these kids, I will ban the f**k out of you.”
The video showed police officers entering an open front door of the home without issue. A few minutes later it shows the teens being escorted out and into a transport vehicle. Libri is in a neighbor’s back yard when he is told the girls are gone and that the homeowner is being interviewed by officers. Libri shines a light on an older model camper in the back yard. Libri says:
“Now we just wait to see who this piece of sh*t is.”
“You hang here to the back. If they run out of the camper, I have him in front, in case this mother f**ker tries to pull a gun on these police officers, that’d be the worst f**cking mistake they could make right now.”
Talking to his dog, he says, “I hope they run on you too. Trust me, I hope they run.”
The video, which appears to have been removed, had a WhatsApp link on the bottom of the post for people to make donations for his crisis center.
Bikers Against Abuse International is a non-profit that was registered with the State of Georgia November 2019, while Libri was in prison. Libri claims to have more than 600 members/advocates and chapters in several states and Canada, but the Upson Beacon could not find any other chapters in our search. We did find Bikers Against Child Abuse, an organization that was established 25 years ago and does have chapters all over the United States and other countries. We asked if they were affiliated with Bikers Against Abuse and they replied with the following statement:
“Bikers Against Child Abuse, its officers, members and/or supporters, are not involved... nor affiliated, do not associate and do not have any personal relationship with "Bikers Against Abuse" nor any of its membership. We are aware of Bikers Against Abuse International's existence and aware of the obvious confusion that exists and has been created... given "their choice"... to so identify themselves.
“Bikers Against Child Abuse has been in existence for 25 years, is a truly ‘international’ organization with an established and respected history of service across North America... Europe and Oceania. BACA’s mission is to ‘empower abused children to not live in fear.’ Bikers Against Child Abuse does not condone the use of violence or physical force in any manner!
“Please visit our website at BACAWORLD.ORG which should provide enough information to differentiate us from any organization that claims to perform similar services or that creates confusion, either intentionally or unintentionally, by use of similar names, acronyms, mission statements, or claims of affiliation. Please note that I have taken the liberty to copy our legal counsel and international public relations officer in this response.”
Although Libri pled guilty in Douglas County, Libri said, “I went to prison and served my time. Did I cross the line? Yes, I did, but that was then and this is now. We are doing it a different way. My heart is in it 100 percent, it was then too. Back then, we didn’t have a governor who wanted to hear about sex trafficking, now we do. No one wanted to hear about it, I was arrested because of dirty cops not wanting to do their job. I am okay with serving time because the girl I saved lives in a different state and she’s married. It’s worth it.”
A news report from the Patch, the case against Libri in Douglas County, dated August 2015, said: "The defendant inserted himself into an investigation for a missing Douglas County teenager and represented to both the teenage girl's family and the Douglas County Sheriff's Office that he was a law enforcement officer that specialized in finding missing teenagers," The DA's Office said in a news release. "Libri is not law enforcement, nor has he ever been in law enforcement. He is also not licensed as private investigator."
The Patch also reported that after Libri’s conviction and at sentencing, “Judge William ‘Beau’ McClain, who said he believes Libri was motivated by ‘ego’ and ‘self-aggrandizement,’ sentenced him to five years in prison, followed by probation.”
"Police officers and law enforcement are trained and trusted to serve and protect our community. While there is always a place for citizens to assist law enforcement in maintaining a safe community, there are proper methods for doing this that do not involve deception," District Attorney Brian Fortner said in a statement. "This defendant was concerned with self-promotion, accolades, and the benefits he himself received from pretending to help. It is concerning when someone who is not trained law enforcement pretends to be so.”
See the following links for more information: