In the nation’s capital, roving motorcycle gangs are terrorizing the community with impunity because police are strictly forbidden to chase them.
The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has a strict “no chase” policy, which stops police from giving chase to criminals on dirt bikes. The thinking behind the policy is that chasing suspects will create a more serious risk to citizens than just letting them go, and police can catch them later.
The reality, however, is that with police officers’ hands tied, illegal dirt bikers are free to ride when and where they want with complete disregard for the law.
Sunday night, two videos surfaced on YouTube showing exactly how these marauding dirt bike gangs operate.
The first video, uploaded Sunday evening, shows a gang of more than 100 dirt bikers and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) riders flying down a popular stretch of 14th Street Northwest, running a red light and weaving through traffic — several riders nearly get struck by a turning car.
The gang traverses the intersection and then proceeds south on 14th Street, moving towards downtown.
In the second video, also uploaded Sunday night, a different gang of motorcycle and dirt bike riders all but shut down traffic just outside D.C. city limits on Interstate 495 coming in to the city on one of the busiest travel days of the year.
Revelers can be seen exiting their cars and running toward the group of motorcyclists who have blocked traffic across all five lanes so they can perform donuts and wheelies.
People hang out the windows of their cars with cell phones in hand to record the madness as it insues.
Eventually, the gang starts moving further down the highway and riders can be seen doing wheelies and standing on top of their motorcycles, still blocking traffic in all lanes.
At the end of the video, about a dozen riders who missed their exit, turn around and drive the wrong way on the freeway so they can meet back up with the rest of the gang.
It is unclear if police responded to either incident. A request for comment from the MPD was not returned.
In July, D.C. Council attempted to crack down on the illegal bike gangs with legislation that would have them put them in jail — if police can catch them.
The new plan would give police the authority to tow any dirt bike parked on public property and put the rider in jail for up to 30 days. It would also enact heavy fines for people convicted of multiple dirt bike related offenses.
The call for new penalties came on the heels of several violent incidents that involved illegal dirt bikes.
[dcquiz] In June, the wife of a D.C. police officer was the victim of a drive-by attack from teenagers illegally riding around on dirt bikes and ATVs.
The woman was standing in her front yard when she said a group of around 12 teens on dirt bikes came racing down her street. When she yelled at the scofflaws to slow down, they turned their bikes around and tried to run the woman over.
In May, a young reporter in D.C. was killed in a drive-by shooting in which the shooter zoomed by on an illegal dirt bike.
The woman, Charnice Milton, was waiting at a bus stop when the intended target of the shooting grabbed her and used her as a human shield.
After shooting Milton, the teenager took off on the dirtbike and was never identified by police. Milton, shot in the chest, later died in the hospital.
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