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DC Police Make Wave Of ATV Arrests

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Steve Birr Vice Reporter
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Authorities in Washington, D.C., are continuing their crackdown on ATVs and dirt bikes driven illegally on public roadways with a wave of arrests and confiscation of more than 30 vehicles.

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) announced the arrests of 27 individuals and confiscation of their vehicles Tuesday. MPD destroys vehicles once the legal case against the driver is closed. There have been several high profile accidents, the most recent ones being in Baltimore, reports The Washington Post.

A teenage girl walking to a Beyonce concert Friday was struck by an illegal ATV and suffered a fractured skull. In a separate incident in Baltimore Friday two dirt bike riders assaulted a driver after the driver accidentally hit one of them. (RELATED: DC Proposes Banning Gasoline Sales To ATV Riders After String Of Incidents)

“The vehicles are extremely dangerous to pedestrians and other motorists,” Michael Pavlik, a captain with the MPD, told The Washington Post. “With the assistance of our regional partners and the community, numerous riders have been identified, and those cases are being presented for prosecution.”

Police arrested an ATV rider in the District after he hit another ATV driver while trying to evade police. The suspect fled the scene but police captured him. The ATV rider who he struck escaped the scene. (RELATED: One Dead, Three Injured After ATV Suffers Grizzly Head-On Collision)

An ATV travelling at a high speed veered into oncoming traffic and suffered a head-on collision with a car last week in a District suburb, killing the ATV passenger and sending the driver to a shock trauma center in critical condition. A mom and her 12-year-old son were involved in the accident but suffered only minor injuries.

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) launched an effort to stop illegal ATV riders in April, releasing photos of various vehicles involved in crimes and persons of interests. Authorities asked residents for any information on the riders, and have arrested over 100 people and seized roughly 400 vehicles since they began a targeted operation a year ago.

“We will pursue relentlessly these illegal ATVs and dirt bikes and move forward with their destruction,” Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier said in April. “We have tourists and children and residents that are being impacted by this and that’s just unacceptable. We are not going to put people’s lives at stake.”

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