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This is a video posted yesterday (Monday) on Instagram by designerboynas that is making news in Washington, DC and likely will soon go viral. It again illustrates the difficulties police have in dealing with the illegal dirt bike and ATV riders traveling in groups on city streets.
The video shows a DC police officer on a bike and others in vehicles follow the group along what appears to be southbound 14th Street, Northwest from Corcoran Street through the intersection at P Street. You can hear the riders taunting the officers.
It is just before P Street when the bicycle officer jumps off and tries unsuccessfully to grab one of the ATVs. He lands on the roadway. The person taking the video finds this very funny. Police chief Peter Newsham confirmed on Twitter that the officer was not seriously injured.
Grown men on ATVs acting like juveniles, terrorizing neighborhoods and taunting our police – thank goodness the officer wasn't seriously injured. https://t.co/m4DqEMnxxV
— Peter Newsham (@ChiefNewsham) November 28, 2017
In April 2016 we showed you a similar group surrounding an ambulance carrying a NICU patient in DC. Similarly, in December of 2015 we shared a video of a large group of motorcyclists taking over the Capital Beltway in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
This is a problem happening not just in the Nation’s Capital but in other cities around the country. The video shows that even with police witnessing the illegal act it isn’t necessarily easy for them to put a stop to a it. Obviously, if you know anything about the person taking this video or any of the riders DC police would like to hear from you.
The video first made news yesterday (Monday) evening on WTTG-TV/FOX5 in Washington (see video below). That news story seems to focus on whether the officers violated the department’s pursuit policy. I’m not sure you can even call this a pursuit. Other than the bicycle officer trying to grab one of the ATVs, police seem to be escorting or following the group rather than a high speed chase. Isn’t that what you would hope police would do in an effort to keep innocent people from being hurt?
Full disclosure: In the 1990s I did a series of TV reports about a large number of innocent people killed in crashes following high speed pursuits by police in DC of teens in stolen vehicles. It helped push the department to change its pursuit policy and mostly stopped chases where the only suspected criminal activity was the theft of a vehicle or simple traffic violations.