118 Comment

  • Unfortunately, this crap will continue until the predicatable happens and one of them ends up as a hood ornament.

  • Good way to get yourself killed. Sweet wheelie though…

    • Just the 12 o’ clock boys,
      Never meaning no harm.
      Beats all you never saw,
      been in trouble with the law
      Since the day they was born.

      Straightenin’ the curves,
      Runnin’ the lights.
      Someday the pavement might get ’em but the law never will.
      Makin’ their way, the only way they know how.
      Well, that’s just a little bit more than the law will allow

  • I saw them this past Saturday riding down 14th street in Logan Circle around 6 pm. It was alarming, since they took over the street and were shouting and popping wheelies. Fortunately, they didn’t seem to disrupt traffic; perhaps cars stopped to avoid running into them. No MPD in sight either. I read that WaPo article a while ago, so I’m not shocked this is a thing now.

    • this has been a “thing” for years
      nothing new really

      just more people know about it now

      & i doubt this group is from baltimore

  • that’s awesome!

  • Nice weather this past weekend, so they brought out the toys a bit early. Though, the cold snap later this week will send them back indoors. Terrible wind burn if you ride in sub-50 degree weather.
    Can’t wait for school to be out for the summer! Ride or die.

  • They rode west on Florida Ave through Bloomingdale too. Ran the North Cap/Florida light and almost caused a few accidents.

  • I also saw them at 14th and Florida. They ran through the red light twice. This was actually terrifying to watch, not awesome.

    • I saw them on Florida, too. They ran the red light in front of Shaw’s Tavern. I had just decided not to jog across the street when there was just 6 seconds left on the crossing signal or I would have ended up in their way.

      I don’t understand why the police can’t stop them. I think any dirt bike on city street should be confiscated, no warning, and scrapped or sold at auction.

      • gotryit

        The police won’t chase them “for safety reasons”. (sarcasm)

        • Why the sarcasm?

          • gotryit

            Because letting them run rampant is not safe for us. I care less about the dirt bikers safety when they have a very easy way to be safe – stop behaving like turds on DC streets. So let the police take them down in a way that isn’t safe to the riders.
            Despite what the “experts” here post, I have a hard time believing that MPD can’t figure out a way to take them down if that’s what their orders were. And no, Baltimore isn’t acceptable evidence to me that it isn’t possible.

          • brookland_rez

            I saw a police cruiser chase one through my alley once, don’t know if he caught him though.
            They do have to stop and get gas eventually. I’ve heard of police arresting them when they’re getting gas.

          • I see. I’m guessing that you’re going to have a hard time winning over the MPD with your arm-chair policing effort. Sounds very convincing, though. Good luck.

          • I love it when all the creepy death-fantasizing tough guys come into threads and talk about the most efficient ways to conduct extra-judicial executions of petty law breakers. You guys are nuts.

          • Jay, the dirt bikers are just as much “citizenry” as you are. Surely you can manage to disparage their behavior without spewing your violent fantasies.

      • How would the police “stop” a group of 30 dirt bike and ATV riders?

        Most commenters in this thread are also failing to consider that these guys are actively baiting the police. What should the police do? Be baited into giving them their adrenaline-fueled chase through the city?

  • I saw some stupid kids doing something similar in Philadelphia a few years ago, and watched an SUV go through the green light and smack right into two of them on their dirtbikes – knocked them clean across the intersection. Two of the pedestrians actually applauded the SUV driver. I didn’t stay long enough to find out how it ended, but it certainly did not look good for the two kids who got run over. Not one of their friends even hung around – they all just rode away and left them both bleeding on the road.

  • Here’s what always floors me: These people engage in an action which is obviously illegal and dangerous (to themselves and others), and then when they get hurt, their families act the victim, try to sue the law-abiding driver, etc. Like that guy in the NY case. His mother was wailing all over the news about the driver who ran over her kid, but her kid was the one doing something illegal, stupid, threatening, and dangerous. I have no sympathy for someone who gets wrecked running red lights with his little bike gang.

  • Add this to the long list of things MPD and Mayor / Council turn a blind eye to. Doing something about this would be classified as racial (as it has already been, see Barry comments) and cost votes. This is the city in which we live.

    • realistically, how would you go about ‘doing something about this’? I mean, logistically, how are the police supposed to detain someone riding a dirt bike in the street? ponder this as a much more likely explanation than lack of political will or racial issues.

      • Get ahead of them and block the road with police cars. Put cars at the far end of any alleys, to box them in. Yes, it would take some quick response and coordination, but any serious big city police force could do it. So… yeah. There’s your problem.

        • it isnt that easy lol
          ESP with these specific vehicles as they are not bound to the streets
          you would have to block EVERYTHING off including sidewalks medians both sides of traffic

          same reason why there is a no chase law in MD for motorcycles
          you put more people in danger when these people start running and you start chasing in a two ton car thant cant keep(dirt bikes are far more nimble, easy to make two u turns and take off) up to begin with

        • as a former juvenile delinquent i can attest to how easy it is to avoid getting caught. for one, the dirt bikes are more maneuverable than anything mpd has. and two, the kids know the city way better than the cops.

          catching them is seriously hard. and dangerous to the rest of us citizens. best method, is using video like the one posted to catch them.

        • There have to be cop cars around when this activity is actually going on for that to work.

      • gotryit

        Radios, communication, blocking them. Get them while they’re slow or stopped. They’re kind of hard to hide – you can hear them from many blocks away.

        • they don’t slow down / stop. that’s the issue.

        • These kids run from the cops. They can easily outmaneuver and outrun large police vehicles.
          They learned from the Baltimore PD that if you chase them, you actually create more danger as the kids start riding on the sidewalks and injuring pedestrians. Then everyone (successfully) sues the city.
          Unfortunately, the safer and more economically efficient approach is to let them run wild. Eventually, the kids will get injured.
          The best approach is to get video recordings of these kids and build a case against them. Eventually, you follow them back home and confiscate their unlicensed bikes. Many of the bikes are stolen, so there’s no record of who they actually belong to.

          • houseintherear

            That’s the kicker… they should find out where they live. Yes, it would cost a lot of man hours and time for MPD, but put a few motorcycle cops on their tail (far behind, no sirens) and stick with them until they go home (likely in PG county, I’d guess). Just like any gang, which these kids essentially are, they should be investigated over time and them prosecuted.

          • Or they could run them down or shoot them. At a certain point, society has too push back against the forces of anarchy.

        • Or, more realistically, call Batman.

      • The cops in many other major cities manage to do it. I can tell you that this didn’t happen in Seattle when I lived there because the cops would have caught them and impounded the bikes. Everyone knew this.

        • it really is way harder than you are making it seem
          out of a group of 30, yeamaybe they catch one to three if they are lucky
          but at what cost though?

          not saying what they are doing is ok but there really isnt much you can do about it

          look at how hard they try in baltimore with zero success. & the numbers there are staggering. have been for years

          • All I know is that I never saw kids roaming city streets on dirt bikes until I moved to DC. Maybe kids in Seattle are just more responsible or smarter than kids in DC, but I really suspect that it’s a matter of enforcement.

          • that sir/ ma’am is terrible logic
            Just because another major city does not have the same problem does not mean the PD there has a stronghold on it lol

          • brookland_rez

            Must be an east coast thing. I’ve heard of them in DC, Baltimore, Philly, NYC. I never saw them on the west coast when I lived out there.

          • The logic is not so terrible as you think, That Man A. The police in Seattle are well known for enforcing traffic laws, unlike the police in DC, who seem to think it degrades them to enforce anything so minor as a traffic law. Hence, traffic violations in general are fewer in Seattle. When I was a child, and owned a dirt bike, it was made very clear to me that if I rode it on the street, the cops would take it from me, and so I didn’t ride it on the street.

        • Seattle also has a LOT more options for adolescents who need activities that let them blow off some steam than most East Coast cities do. Kids who grow up with decent parks and a wide variety of recreational options may be more likely to use those options — instead of taking to the streets with dirt bikes.

      • Don’t follow them on the street, follow them from the sky with the police copter or drones.

      • Why can’t they just wait for them at a light and toss a few spike strips out right as they come by? They can’t run without tires (and many would likely fall if they are on a 2-wheeler)

    • yeah, mpd never arrests black people breaking the law (/sarcasm)

  • Didn’t WaPo do a piece on these guys?

  • A good t-bone or two should get the message across to these idiots

  • Pesky kids!

  • What does it mean in the caption “and often I just saw…”?

  • brookland_rez

    This is nothing new. They come out every summer. Every summer one of them gets in an accident. It’s just part of summer life in the city. I think what they’re doing is pretty stupid, but then on the other hand I’ve seen plenty of stupid, lawless actions by car drivers, bicyclists, everyone on the road. Next…

    • gotryit

      Car drivers are far less reckless than this. Many bicyclists are about as stupid, but much less dangerous to other people than ATVs and dirt bikes.

      • while this may be true how more dangerous do you whink it would be if this same group of 30 began running from the police in a chaotic manner only concerned with getting away

        it gets for more dangrous really quick
        if anything they should use to bird to follow them home
        but thats hard to do because this is DC which is covered in no fly zones

      • brookland_rez

        You do have to take into account the sheer size of a car versus a dirt bike though. A car blowing through a red light is more dangerous than a dirt bike because a car weighs 20x what a dirt bike weighs, so therefore it can do 20x the damage to anyone else on the road. So the illegal act has to be weighted with the laws of physics and the ability to injure.

        • Maybe… but a car swerving to avoid hitting a dirt bike could potentially do just as much damage as a car swerving to avoid hitting another car.

          • brookland_rez

            True. I still rank this up there with bicycles blowing through red lights. Annoying? Yes. Dangerous? Yes, mostly for them. Bigger issues for MPD to worry about? Yes.
            I guess at some point DC will be gentrified to the point where there’s not more serious crimes and MPD takes this to task. We’re not there yet though.

  • Yeah, we saw this group twice on Saturday night while eating dinner outside at Shaw’s Tavern. And after having witnessed a bicyclist get creamed outside of Veranda in Logan Circle last summer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcSEjpEyep4), it is definitely a stressful sight to behold.

    I wish these individuals would think about the danger they are putting others in, not just themselves.

  • This is menacing public safety issue. Hopefully, MPD will act to suppress this unlawful activity before it escalates to the scope of the problem in Baltimore City. In Baltimore City, not only do the police not pursue, the riders actually attack the police in their cars. There are a number of YouTube videos showing riders in Baltimore City riding next to police cars and then kicking the cars, either the rear lights or the back doors.
    The release of “12 O’clock Boys” will only exacerbate the problem. Not to mention that, at least in Baltimore City, a significant number of the vehicles are stolen property, which is why you see so many wrecked and then ditched on the street.

  • So glad they’re not wearing helmets.

  • Lots of ridiculous and unrealistic ideas have been posted so far but perhaps of someone asked the police directly you would learn that MPD is not allowed to chase. Not only are they not allowed but they can/and will in most cases get in serious trouble from their officials. I know its a rare sight in the northwest quadrant but the issue is absolutely out of control east of the river.

    • I think everyone understands that MPD is not allowed to chase. The arguments above are that MPD _should_ be allowed to chase or do whatever else has been suggested.

    • brookland_rez

      I don’t venture west of the park too much, but I’ve seen them in various places in NW east of the park. They’re in NE/SE too, especially when you get over the river. Also PG county. I was going south on Branch Ave at rush hour once just inside the beltway around the Iverson Mall area. A kid on a dirtbike came up through the traffic and got in front at the light. When it turned green he rode out in front and started popping wheelies in front of all the rush hour commuters. I was on my ZX10r so I had no trouble blowing past him, but all the rest of traffic just sat there behind while was showing off. I just remember thinking, “what a jerk”. All those people were just trying to get home and could have cared less about his wheelies. But nobody did anything though. I still think it’s funny. Not so much the kid but the fact that everybody in traffic just sat back and watched like it was normal.

      • did yo go out at all this weekend?
        had guys calling me left and right to ride

        i tend to wait until just about all of the salt is gone before i go out so i didnt touvh her this weekend
        im hoping in about three weeks we will be good to go

        • brookland_rez

          I did. I rode a bunch of back roads with some friends in southern MD on Sat, rode around the city with a friend on Sat night, rode out to the Chesapeake and to Baltimore and back yesterday. The weather was perfect.
          Not too much in the way of salt, but there was still some melting snow in spots. Anywhere that was wet also had salt in the water. I came home and had salt sprays all on the underside of my bike.
          Took me like 3 hours to get it all cleaned off but it was totally worth it.

          • not bad
            yea im just in fear of that salt tearing everything up down there
            i know its terrible for the chain
            cant wait to get back to the twistys though

          • brookland_rez

            Yeah, I don’t normally use a hose to clean my bike, but I did after this weekend. I wanted to make sure I got it all off. Of course then I had to clean and lube the chain afterward. So that’s why it took so long to get it all clean.

      • justinbc

        What could anyone possibly do though? It’s not like ramming him out of the way is an option (or a legal one, rather).

        • not too much really
          call the cops
          but if he runs they cant give chase

          but i also think they are willing to put more effort into one bike rather than a group of 30+

        • brookland_rez

          I would have thought the cars would have at least blown their horn or yelled out the window or something.

      • I’m so glad this topic came up to give you a chnace to reaffirm what a bike-riding bad ass you are

  • I remember seeing this group once on H street on a Saturday night. I was locking up my bike and they pulled up to the light. They were definitely stopped at the light and didn’t go till it changed. A few of them waved at me and were not intimidating or menacing in the slightest. Maybe my danger goggles are malfunctioning, but they just looked like some kids showing off. I have no doubt that they run lights and are a nuisance, but they did not strike me as some terrifying bike gang.

    • justinbc

      Imagine, for a second, that those were not the same people.

      • It was a large group of young black guys (and one woman) on ATVs and motorbikes going down H street NE. They were popping wheelies and revving their engine at the light. Why aren’t you posting this same reply to anyone else on this thread, like the people who said they saw them on 14th st or in front of Shaw? How do you know that they are all talking about the same group?

        • justinbc

          Well, since you asked, those posters all allude to seeing this group on (presumably) the same day. In fact if you read through you can pretty much get a sense of the exact route taken. They all describe the exact same behavior from the video of that day. It’s a safe assumption those are the same individuals running red lights. Your story (now) accounts for seeing “a large group” of black people on some random Saturday night, with what would appear to be contradictory behavior. That’s what makes it less likely sounding that it’s the same group, because I’m sure there is more than 1 group of black kids who like to hang out together.

  • These kids aren’t coming from rich neighborhoods. Where they live, money talks. Tell the community that anybody who can provide evidence (like this video) that successfully leads to the arrest of one of these kids and the confiscation of the bike or atv gets to keep however much the bike or atv sells for.
    And let’s get serious about punishing these kids. Operating an illegal vehicle on a public roadway should result in the suspension of your drivers license for at least two years. And you should spend at least 30 days in jail. And if you live in public housing or get food stamps or have any other public assistance, it should be suspended for at least two or three years. Maybe that would get the families of these kids, who have to know that their “sweet little angel” is doing this, to get them to stop.

    • Gosh, I sure hope your parents got punished for everything that you did before you hit 18 or so. And I sure hope that you get punished for everything that your children — if and when you have any do. Actually, I don’t. But I do wish you had a more realistic idea of what it takes to be a responsible parent. And if one of your kids ever borrows a bike from a friend and gets in trouble, I hope you’ll give some serious thought as to what types of interventions would make him — and you — a better citizen. By the way, if you’re getting any tax breaks on your mortgage — y’a know, financial support from other tax payers for your choices, you should lose that if your kid gets in any trouble, right?

  • I love all the far-fetched expectations in here that people have of the MPD. Spike strips tossed down on busy streets? Sniper shootings? Drone surveillance? High speed chases through dense, pedestrian-heavy streets? Execution by civilians?
    OK guys. Get your heads out of the clouds. None of those options are remotely feasible or safe to implement. The “do not chase” mandate is, by far, the safest option and creates the least amount of collateral damage.

  • They came through Columbia Heights on Saturday night driving down Fairmont street on the street and some on the sidewalk as well.

  • This is not a problem that can be adequately addressed by police action alone. There’s a massive structural component here, as young men put in a box are acting out and feeling “free” in this way that they have identified in the midst of their generally depressing living conditions and societal position (I know this sounds ridiculous, but see 12 o”clock boys and then come back and let’s have that discussion).

    Either motorbike/ATV sales need to be regulated (unlikely) or this is something that will probably get worse until larger societal inequality issues are addressed. There’s no easy answer to this, and certainly no easy answer involving the police.

    • I’d bet that many of the “off with their heads….punish their parents” folks who’ve posted comments, probably at some point in their own adolescent years enjoyed things like snowboarding and jet skiing — because their parents had the financial means to support such activities. I agree, the need for people, and, particularly adolescent males to feel “free” is a near universal one, and one that has few options and outlets in an inner city urban setting. It would be nice if we could address the need. Skateparks, dirt bike trails, recreational centers with budgets for trips, horseback riding lessons……. something that provides safer options on both sides. Once the options are in place, it will be easier — but not easy — to address the kids that flout the rules that should ensure maximum safety for most of us.

  • funny when I was doing work on my old rd350 2stroke which sounds like some of these bikes, I took it for a quick test spin around the block. Attracted three police who had no problem handing me a ticket for unregistered bike. Even after my plea’s the bike hadn’t run in 10 years and I just got it started and you could see my house. Had no problem pulling me over, maybe that’s because I’m not a menace and will pay the ticket.

    • “Had no problem pulling me over, maybe that’s because I’m not a menace and will pay the ticket.”

      You must be multiple persons who ran when the officers attempted to pull you over. Because otherwise that would seem like the most obvious common sense difference. Not the thing you said. That you were a single person, and that when they tried to pull you over you stopped; rather than being multiple people who don’t stop and legally can’t be chased in a car. That would make the most sense to me as the reason that they “had no problem pulling [you] over”. The obvious physical common sense thing, not the weird political “inscrutable others” thing.

      • You’re exactly right. That’s the problem. One person mugs somebody… lets chase em. One bike riding around.. lets chase em. 15 kids beat up and innocent cyclist…. um I guess there is nothing we can do. 10 kids ransack a food market, ah nothing we can do.

        20 illegal bikes, some probably stolen… riding illegally putting others in danger… ah can’t chase lets let em win.

        I’m not saying chasing is the answer, but what does doing nothing say?

    • brookland_rez

      That’s weird. My bikes are registered, and I’m totally legal. I don’t get pulled over very often, but when I have, the police have always thanked me for not running and given me a warning. Maybe it’s the neighborhood you live in? I don’t know.

  • give a dog a bone, leave a dog alone.

  • Cyclists run red lights all the time sans the wheelies. One almost hit my stroller yesterday afternoon. At least they looked like they were having fun breaking the law. This jerk seemed annoyed with me that my baby might damage his$ 3000 bike.

    • brookland_rez

      I’ve seen younger kids on bicycles do wheelies up my street in Brookland. I always laugh and say they’re in training to be the next generation of dirt bike kids.

  • A very minor quibble, but why on earth is the toilet paper holder in the first-floor powder room mounted next to the sink, rather than closer to the toilet?
    It looks like the whole room is small, so maybe it’s not as much of a reach as it appears, but it makes me wonder what else in the house has been arranged in a non-intuitive way.

  • Wolf Blitzer sucks

  • I love it!!!! DC needs to loosen UP. We can’t let Baltimore steal our thunder. COME ON, PEOPLE!


  • This is why I’m glad I drive a 3/4 ton pickup…me vs. a 4 wheeler I guarantee I win. If anyone finds a set of teeth on my bumper I have no idea how they got there.

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