Outlaws threaten Round-up, steal antique horse gear;

Coyote Sam and his band of criminal nitwits are no doubt tying one on tonight.

The gruesome foursome — known for their decades-long grudge against the Mother Lode Round-up — hijacked a priceless antique silver headstall and reins from the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Posse on Thursday.

Sam’s raggedy enforcer Rattlesnake said the solid silver horse equipment would be melted down and sold to pay their electric bill, buy a case of Dinty Moore beef stew and a case of Wild Turkey whiskey.

In a daring daytime heist (as ‘ol Sam is notoriously afraid of the dark), the muddy marauders crashed the Round-up Sponsor Appreciation Lunch in downtown Sonora’s Emberz Restaurant. The event precedes the Mother Lode Round-up slated for Mother’s Day weekend.

Sam and his crew were 86’d from the Posse years ago and every year try, unsuccessfully, to ruin the Round-up.

The headstall and reins date back to 1958 and were used by then-Round-up Parade Grand Marshal Eddie Webb.

The antique accoutrements were brought out of retirement last year and used in the parade by Grand Marshal Vern Gerdau. This year’s grand marshal, posseman John Egger, had the headstall and reins slung over his shoulder while the posse and Coyote Sam’s bandits exchanged insults.

After the sponsor lunch was over (Emberz staff refused to serve Sam’s motley crew) the ne’er-do-wells rode their horses on Washington Street. They shot off their guns, scaring passersby and children. A sheriff’s deputy passing by begged for his life and gladly sped off the other way when the outlaws convened onto the crowd outside of Emberz.

“Where are those darned Red Shirts?!” Yelled Mango, Sam’s newest recruit, recently sprung out of the new juvenile detention center.

“Get the hell outta here!” Egger yelled at the gang of murderers, thieves and registered Libertarians.

A shootout ensued.

The stinky raggamuffins snatched a brand new Stetson hat off of posseman Steve Oliveira and shot it to bits. In the chaos, Sam wrenched the headstall and reins from Egger, who put up a brave fight.

Always a poor sport, Sam then taunted the posse and bragged over his spoils.

“There won’t be a Roundup now! You can’t ride in the parade now!” Sam shouted to Egger.

The reigning Round-up Queen Karissa Rogers and her court of bejeweled and bedazzled queen and junior queen candidates took the fight to the street and sprayed the bandits down with water in hopes of startling them into dropping the reins and also to try to wash off the manure caked on the criminals faces.

They also threw rose petals at them, knowing it would upset Coyote Sam, whose longtime love Senorita Grossita recently broke up with him for a rose gardener she met at Weight Watchers.

In a flurry of shots and shouts, Sam and his crew rode off down Washington Street, likely headed to smelt the loot and go back to their hideout on…

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