The District of Columbia has a well-known problem with illegal dirt bike gangs, and the city’s mayor plans to alleviate the problem by giving the bikers a new place to hang out.
Mayor Muriel Bowser said the city is looking into ways to create more areas for people to ride dirt bikes off-road on NPR’s “The Kojo Nnamdi Show” Monday afternoon.
“We’ve explored — we haven’t been successful yet — in looking for some off-road places where young people can ride them more safely, off-road,” she said. “That’s in process, so we’re working on that.”
Bowser was responding to a question from a listener who said she saw more than 100 people on dirt bikes and ATVs zooming down her street a couple of weeks ago. (VIDEO: Dirt Bike Gangs Are Running Wild In DC Streets And Cops AREN’T ALLOWED To Stop Them)
City officials are also asking neighbors to report where people work on and store the illegal dirtbikes so police can seize them.
“Part of our attacks on illegal dirtbikes has been to get them at the source, before they get on the road,” Bowser said.
Bowser was short on details regarding the city’s planned new dirt bike parks, though. Her spokesman, Michael Czin, told The Daily Caller News Foundation the off-road parks are just “something that’s being explored.”
In July, D.C. Council attempted to crack down on the illegal bike gangs with legislation that would 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 comes on the heels of several violent incidents that involved illegal dirt bikes.
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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