20+ ATVs in Columbia Heights – Two MPD Officers Run into Group on Foot and “Try to Make a Grab”

A readers reports on twitter and via email:

“About 50 just went through Columbia Heights, south on 14th.

I did see two cops actually run out into the group, on foot, trying to make a grab for a couple riders. Not sure if it was heroic or dumb. The riders were all over the place.”

@alanhenney tweeted:

“OFFICERS UNDER ATTACK by ATVs, 2900 14th St NW, DC. MPD car damaged by ATV riders who tried to run-down police. Search underway.”


“20 ATVs/motorbikes tried to run-down 2 MPD officers. One police car damaged. Supsects made unsafe getaway. 2900 14th St NW, DC.”

37 Comment

  • “Unsafe getaway” is my new favorite oxymoron.

  • Saw two yesterday and knew this was coming.

  • Predictable result when you announce a policy of total non-enforcement. Another predictable result: unsolved maimings and vehicular manslaughter.

    Oh, wait, I meant to say: they’re just victims of gentrification expressing themselves creatively.

  • Happened on Saturday, too…14th & Taylor. Cops tried to break them up after one guy stopped, standing on his four-wheeler blocking traffic and taking a Gatorade break.

  • This is getting really old. I was up on Upshur St around 2pm today and there were two on four wheelers and a kid no older than 9 on a dirt bike.

  • These cats will run out of 9 lives soon.

  • Unfortunately they will take innocent people’s lives and well- being.

  • So sad that this is a sign of spring. Everyone is out soaking up the first few rays of sun…and then there’s these jerks.

  • Looks like that policy of not going after them is real hard and fast. I’ll remember that the next time those assholes are harassing civilians and MPD wants to let it go.

    • I thought the same thing. Ordinary citizens terrorized? Sorry, can’t do a thing. Cruiser damaged, and MPD members targeted? Cops run out into the street to try to crab suspects. Fantastic.

    • Maybe when I close-line one of these shmoes off their ATV, MPD will look the other way too?

  • maybe the 12 o’clock boys have made it to dc? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOMQY6k16TU

  • I saw them going north on Georgia by the Petworth Metro, running through a red light. Then I saw them again as I got off the Metro at Farragut North going west on K street. Saw 2 cops getting coffee at 7eleven watching them drive by, but not looking particularly concerned.

  • They came racing down Euclid too in the late afternoon, and were headed East. This would never be tolerated if it happened in swanky nabes like Georgetown, but of course here in CoHi police think it’s perfectly acceptable. Till someone gets killed because of it.

    • The sad thing is, a casualty will likely be an old person or a small child, unable to think/move quickly as these asshole run through a sidewalk. And no one will be able to catch them. Pathetic lack of power.

    • I saw them doing wheelies down K St Saturday evening about 6:00 pm. They don’t restrict themselves to Columbia Heights, or any other particular neighborhood.

    • I saw some kids out on four wheelers and dirt bikes in Georgetown on Saturday evening around 5:30-6. So, it really is everywhere.

    • I saw a full on show at the intersection of Wisconsin and M St in G-town last year – it went on for about 10 minutes, riding on sidewalks, spinning and doing wheelies in the intersection. I was with friends from Europe – they couldn’t believe it. No sign of DCPD.

  • Saw these f*ckers at the Brentwood Rd gas station near Home Depot. One guy was popping wheelies while cursing at a cop standing at the light. I can’t beleive these people can do whatever they want. The law needs to change fast, before people start getting hurt.

    • Riding ATVs on city streets is already completely illegal. MPD policy is not to give chase due to the very high likelihood of injury to bystanders. Why they can figure out where these assholes live and target them at home I don’t know. I know several in my neighborhood; they park the ATVs right in back.

      • Have you reported them to MPD?

        • No, I haven’t, since *owning* an ATV isn’t illegal, just riding it on city streets. My neighborhood is very heavily policed, with cars regularly parked on trouble corners for days at a time. If I can notice where these things are parked, so can they.

      • Well, the guy saw was popping wheelie’s right in front of the cop car, made an illegal u-turn, cut me off and the cop, popped another wheelie while turning around and curing at the cop car. He was obviously trying to provoke the cop, and it looked like the cop had no interest in being part of it.

    • They often speed down Franklin Street in Brookland as well. I understand the “no chase” policy, but see absolutely no reason why MPD can’t figure out where the vehicles are kept and seize them. Some of the little jerks will undoubtedly procure new rides – but the hassle and expense of doing so may cause them to be a bit more circumspect in the future. If there are obstacles to seizure because of current law, then the Council needs to act.

  • Honestly we have zero traffic enforcement in this city so why would ATV use be enforced when other vehicular violations are not?

    Not saying I’m pleased about the ATVs but I have recently as a pedestrian witnessed dozens of cars running red lights in as little as a 5 minute period. And yesterday when I was driving and stopped at a red light (with very clear “no right on red” posted) a driver decided he couldn’t bear to wait behind me to make a right turn so he swung his car out around into the center lane and executed his turn against the red in front of me, nearly taking out pedestrians, who wrongly assumed that a crosswalk, a walk signal and a no-right-on-red designation would somehow protect them.

    We do not have a traffic enforcement division in our police department, so to expect traffic enforcement is a fools errand–be it ATVs, cars or the much hated bicycles. It’s not going to be enforced because it is no one’s job to do so.

    • “Honestly we have zero traffic enforcement in this city so why would ATV use be enforced when other vehicular violations are not?”
      I totally agree with this. If you’re not caught by a camera, you’re not getting a ticket.
      DC has the laxest traffic enforcement I’ve seen in any major American city. Cops really don’t give a crap here. I see more people pulled over for traffic violations by the various federal policing agencies than MPD. I consistently see people make illegal U-turns and run red lights in front of MPD all the time and they don’t take action.

      • I was pleasantly surprised this morning on my way to Metro to see an MPD cop pulling over someone for flagrantly running the red light at the intersection of New Hampshire and Georgia.

    • I’m not concerned about the traffic infractions. If they run a red light with no one around, I really don’t care. It’s when they run a red light speeding at a bunch of pedestrians in a crosswalk. Or zip down a sidewalk nearly hitting people. It’s a physical threat, and MPD should be doing something about it. It’s not just a traffic infraction.

      • You, yeah you. You make no sense. Read over your comment again.

        “I have no problem with people running a red light with no one around since they’re not a physical threat.”

        How in the fuck is running a red light not inherently a physical threat? No one around? In DC? Puh-lease…

        • HaileUnlikely

          Work on reading comp. There was a point in that there post, and whether running red lights is dangerous or not obviously was not it.

  • Of course this is likely something that will wake up the MPD and they may begin to do something. Nothing gets their ire when they become the targets…… I saw a story on NBC that indicated that one officer was trying to deal with it but got surrounded and outnumbered which would have put them in a very dangerous position. Don’t think that MPD isn’t going to try and think of something to do because now it has become a threat to them.

  • I was on the corner of CT Ave and L St last week and witnessed about 15 riders on ATV and dirt bikes blow through the red light at the intersection. A MPD police cruiser with two officers saw the whole thing and did nothing.

    How long will this continue until a bystander is hit-and-run?

  • couple of harmless kids on dirt bikes and you guys are crying like suburban hipsters. stop it…

    • Isn’t “suburban hipster” a contradiction in terms?

    • Not just a “couple” and certainly not “harmless.” About 40 of these losers tore through through the 4-way-stop intersection outside my home, ignored the stop sign, ran a car off the road which nearly hit a pedestrian, and a rider nearly clipped my neighbor standing at the corner. It’s a mob, but a pathetic wannabe critical-mass-meets-motor-oil sort of mob–and without the brains or creativity to express a comprehensible statement. Or perhaps their statement is that hooligans are a step ahead of MPD and DC council regarding acts of assault with motor vehicles…

      A shame that these atv aficionados lack ability to find a more productive outlet.

      Write a letter to your district MPD commander, and one to your councilperson. Pressure them to develop a strategy to deal with this.

    • Obviously you’re new… Sure only a few people have been killed because of riding illegal vehicles on public roads in DC, but they’ve caused a hell of a lot of damage. Like last year, totaled a car and the kid just abandoned his bike, hopped on with his buddy, and took off. Or maybe you’d be cool with accidentally killing one of the jacktards while you’re driving.

  • You’d think MPD would have a special task force on this, and would have ordered the spike strips months ago for just these events. I can’t believe this group is so bold as to threaten and assault law enforcement officers with motor vehicles (and kicking a squad car too?). And that MPD personnel would retreat in the face of a riotous situation! What gives?

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