This is Why People are Outraged about ATV Lawlessness: “The ambulance was transporting a NICU patient at the time.”

anti atv

A reader shares this incredibly disturbing alert on Monday from the DC Healthcare Information System, “an online emergency alert system managed by the DC Emergency Healthcare Coalition (DCEHC) to notify hospitals, nursing homes, rehab facilities, poison control center, etc of relevant emergencies that may impact the DC healthcare system.”

Title: F-Y-I: EMS Transport Hindered by Dirt Bikes === Body: Incident Description A commercial ambulance provider reports they recently encountered a group of 20-30 dirt bikes at the intersection of North Capitol Street and Michigan Avenue, in the vicinity of the Children’s National Medical Center. The agency reported that the motorcycles and ATVs boxed in the ambulance and forced it to a stop. The ambulance was transporting a NICU patient at the time.

One subject on a motorcycle is reported to have opened the driver’s side door and accused the operator of ‘cutting off’ the biker group. The operator was able to subsequently close and lock their door. The bikers reportedly refused to allow the ambulance to move, even when the operator activated lights and siren. The ambulance crew notified the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) via 9-1-1.

When MPD arrived on scene the biker group sped off, allowing the ambulance to complete the transport. The patient suffered no untoward effects due to the delayed transport, and no crew members were hurt as a result of the encounter. There was no report of any weapons displayed. Recommended Actions It is recommended that all EMS agencies review their policies and procedures to determine if an incident of this nature is addressed. EMS agencies should let their personnel be aware of this incident, and discuss how they would handle this situation. Healthcare facilities should review this incident with their staff and security personnel, and discuss how it may impact operations at their facility.

196 Comment

  • Is it really that hard to apprehend a few of these people? It seems like it’s an almost daily occurrence, the police presence in most of these areas (including the downtown area in the video above) is extremely high. What am I missing?

    What ever happened to deterrence policing?

    • Comment Artist

      As we’ve seen over and over again, many MPD officers care more about covering their asses than actually pursuing criminals.

      • It’s not the officers’ fault per se, it’s the administration that is to blame.

        • uhh no, it is the officer’s fault per se. if they actually did their job and apprehended people who commit real crimes, this wouldn’t be an issue

          • I don’t think you understand what chain of command is. The police may want to do the right thing but if an officer were to hurt himself or an innocent bystander by going against orders, goodbye job.

            Police officers aren’t just a bunch off autonomous vigilantes. They have superiors, direct your complaints to them.

          • Okay… I’m going to stay calm… Leachville, I know spelling is wrong… You Have NO IDEA!!! Your Ignorance is Loud and Clear!! And just a question how often have You NOT pulled right for an ambulance…… art thou…. Policy is Everything….Policy is Job Security…

    • I can’t imagine trying to apprehend them. This is not a unified mass, it’s a dozen or more individuals, and the group is constantly changing along the route. When the cops show up, they scatter in every direction and have no qualms about riding on sidewalks, across private property, etc. Officers on bikes or in cars would have an extremely difficult time catching one, and would be unlikely to catch more than a few at a time. And what happens as a result? A fine the kid probably can’t pay and probation, followed by a lifetime “in the system”? This is a serious problem, but more arrests isn’t going to solve it.

      • Thinning the pack is a good start to prevent this kind of situations

      • So wait until they injure (again) or kill someone?

        This needs to stop. Period. If it takes spike strips and rubber bullets, so be it. Worrying about “putting these youth in the system” is something I absolutely don’t care about.

        This type of lawlessness is absolutely not allowable. MPD and the Mayor need to stop being PC cowards and enforce the damn laws.

        • Too bad there is not a camera mounted on the dash of the ambulance. Then the cops would at least have a video of who was on those ATV’s…..If the baby had died they should be charged with murder….

      • Seize the ATV to start. That will get expensive after a while and no lifetime of court entanglements to get him in the system. But with ‘tood like that with the ambulance, I’d be surprised if these were angels with no record.

      • Agreed. Time to start eliminating these terrorists and/or torturing until they turn in fellow terrorists. They are, indisputably terrorists.

    • 1 comment, Bob

    • Obviously 490 of them are going to be against ATVs and nobody is going to support this specific event.

      But, the more insightful question for the anti-Broken Windows crowd is how do you prevent dangerous outbreaks like these from flaring up if you aren’t willing to take preventative measures to stop events like this from occuring?

      • I really don’t see what broken windows has to do with it. The police don’t chase these guys because they are worried that a bystander will be hurt or killed during a chase of these ATVs which can run up on the sidewalk, etc., at high speeds. Which actually is a reasonable concern, and part of what makes this situation so frustrating. Plus the city has tried to “take preventative measures” by offering big rewards leading to seizures, and the seized property lot is apparently full of them. It just isn’t an easy problem to solve given the actual difficulty and danger to the public involved in catching these guys. But by all means make this a political debate about something else.

  • But stopping people from getting to hospital is part of their culture. If you’re really interested, you should watch the documentary 12 O’clock Douches.

    • Yeah I have seen it. I went into the documentary thinking it was going to be a cool look into some world I knew nothing about. By the time it was over, I was pretty confident these dudes were the biggest losers I had ever seen.

  • Just harmless kids having a little fun. I like to wave to them as I watch them go by.

    • The ones I’ve seen are not kids? They’re 20s and early 30s

    • Can’t tell if you are being sarcastic. Most of these dudes are grown men in their 20s and 30s with a few teens sprinkled in as well. I personally have almost been run over twice by these tools on a Sunday near downtown. They plow straight through major intersections at red lights and cause cars to swerve out of the way while making pedestrians basically dive for the nearest sidewalks. They don’t even do this for a cause is the worst part. They do it to “just ride mang! Cause chaos!”. They are embarrassing.

    • Folks, I’m pretty sure that anon is making fun of the person who made this exact comment on the last post about ATV and dirt bike riders.

  • This will make some folks happy – NYPD to “crush on TV” confiscated dirt bikes and ATVs:
    http://gothamist.com/2016/04/04/knuckleheads_ouch.php

    • It’s interesting to see the NYPD take such a different approach to this, not just with destroying the vehicles, but actually going after them in the first place. If NYPD has found a way to pursue these criminals without additional risk to the public, why can’t DC do the same?

      • From the article:
        .
        The NYPD has a policy against chasing caravans of riders on city streets (in October 2013, one chase ended with a police officer shooting an ATV driver; in 2013, officers fatally struck a man on a dirt bike during a chase). Instead, Gomez said, the goal this year is to pounce. “We like to apprehend them as they are gassing up in the gas stations or as they are gathering in parks or deserted streets,” he said. “We’ll descend on the streets and apprehend as best we can.” Once a biker is arrested, the NYPD questions him or her about where bikes are stored, and follows up with a Department of Buildings and FDNY inspection. If the City finds gasoline stored illegally in a commercial or residential garage, there’s grounds for a bust.
        .
        Why can’t MPD do something similar? I’ve read here posters complaining that they have called in with addresses of where these bikes are stored and MPD has done nothing.

        • The riders died while fleeing from police after commuting numerous crimes?

          where’s the downside of pursuit again?

          • *committing

          • Their parents sued the city and won. Big money, with tax payers on the hook.

          • Please actually read the comment. They, like MPD, decided it wasn’t worth it to try to pursue them on busy streets so they came up with more creative ways to apprehend them, like at gas stations, unlike MPD. The article also mentions monitoring rider events on Facebook and getting community feedback about where bikes are stored.

          • Someone from MPD showed up in the last comments saying this is exactly the strategy that MPD uses, but that it is still difficult.
            .
            Armchair lieutenants are almost as bad as the dirt bikes in this town.

        • It is not illegal to own an ATV in DC, just to operate it on public space. So police cannot seize an ATV on private space unless there is evidence that it has been ridden on public space. MPD has made dozens of arrests, but there is very little penalty for the charge, so there is no deterrent.

      • Comment Artist

        NYPD takes a different, more effective approach to many things. The culture here is way too ass-backwards from top to bottom for things to ever change.

        • You’re so right, as evidenced by the enormous change which has taken place in DC over the last 20 years and shows few signs of stopping.

    • They ought to make the people they confiscated them from watch.

  • Reading this nearly brought me to tears. All 3 of my kids spent time in the NICU (a sum total of 196 days) and immediately pictures that baby in the back of the ambulance. If he or she was being transferred to Children’s it was for a serious reason.

  • Thank goodness they were still able to keep the baby stable during this ordeal. This is just awful

  • When one of these idiots inevitably ends up in an ambulance, I hope they’re delayed from getting to the hospital.

  • Every day I live in this city, I’m given a new reason to ask, “HOW ABOUT YOU NOT BE A TOTAL A–HOLE ALL THE TIME?”

  • That ambulance driver should have pressed his/her foot on the accelerator and FLOORED it!

    • And crashed into them rendering the ambulance unusable and probably sending the infant flying through the ambulance? Yeah, great idea.

      • +1 for floored it. Decent people should put their foot down — even literally — against this type of totally unacceptable lawlessness.

        If a menacing gang of hostile people surround my car and TRY TO ENTER IT you bet your life I’ll floor it.

        • For real. I’m often surprised by people’s reticence when confronted by situations like this. If you’ve surrounded my car and I feel like I’m in danger than I’m running over your little bike.

          • Anyone remember the SUV in NY that did something similar and the driver was chased down and pulled out of the car and severely beaten?

          • Also, I have assets to lose when I get sued for injuring one of these guys after “flooring it.” Their lawlessness doesn’t getting me off the hook for running someone over.

          • Yes I remember and he even had his family with him. (to anon below)

        • I completely understand this sentiment and share it myself. However, on the flip side, if you were to seriously injure or kill one or more of these bikers because you floored it through their blockade, something tells me the law would not be on your side. Even if you weren’t arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter, there’s a big chance the family would sue the heck out of you for injuring/killing their “innocent” relative.

          • Don’t have to be innocent or “innocent.” You still can’t run people over.

          • That was exactly my point…

          • “something tells me the law would not be on your side.”
            .
            If I’m on the jury (civil or criminal), you’re home free. No way I’m either convicting or rendering a plaintiff’s verdict.

          • If they are attacking you, you are absolutely within the law to run them down.

            Jo mentioned the guy in NYC, he should have run over more of them. He was not charged.

          • If they were attacking you, yes. If they were merely in your way and your response was to mow them down, no.

      • Works for me. And as the ambulance goes flying by, yell out to them, “sorry, this one’s full. Take the next one.”

        [aunt of a NICU baby]

    • houseintherear

      My cousin-in-law is an EMT in San Diego. He and other EMTs, at least in his jurisdiction, are personally responsible for any crashes or injuries while on the job, even during an emergency, and even if the injury is to a patient in the vehicle during a crash. He has an extra rider on his car insurance for work. Puts some perspective on the issue!

  • Want them off their bikes and ATVs? Place police around those areas they ride and have them ready with a stop strip. You disable their vehicle, impound it, then the perp is on foot and easier to catch.

    • If only DC had rivers around it, forcing the ATVs to ride over bridges where police could focus their enforcement and establish roadblocks. If only. But they’d probably need some sort of communications system so they could talk to other cops to quickly coordinate their response and close off the bridge at both ends. Hmmmm. Maybe someday there will be such a thing.

      • You realize DC isn’t some tiny island? These guys don’t ride in a straight line or set route or even on really freeways where there aren’t as many places to turn off. Police don’t know where they’re headed next and during a chase they’ll only disburse and probably start riding through alleys, on sidewalks, endangering pedestrians. You guys seriously watch too many action movies. That’s not real life.

      • Sweet snarky response, but it leaves you looking kind of dumb. There are six bridges that go into DC from either Virginia or Maryland. One of them barely counts as a bridge and one is relatively remote and much less utilized than the others. On the otherhand, there are dozens of at-grade street crossings.

        If we were invaded by a large ground force, we could destroy our bridges and barely make a dent in their ability to get to our downtown core within a matter of minutes.

        • They’re not coming from Virginia, so you can eliminate those bridges from the equation. But your point stands.

        • EOTR is not Maryland. There are no bridges into Maryland; just a massive land border.

          • I recommend you refer to a map drawn sometime after the mid-80s (I’m fond of google maps, personally). It shouldn’t take you more than a minute to realize that you’re wrong.

      • If only you were smart enough to know Eastern Avenue is not a river.

      • This might be the best “I’M SMRT!” post. Inferring stupidity in others while simultaneously putting your own on blast. Funny thing is without all that snark it could just have been a run of the mill impractical idea.

    • I’m curious about the downside to ready-to-raise stop strips. Putting one on Park Pl would get you a dozen ATVs down pretty easily, but would that cause the vehicles to spin out of control and land on residents’ front porches?

  • I am sad to see DC descending into Mad Max levels of lawlessness. Roving gangs of illegal dirtbikes and ATVs that deliberately impede ambulances!? Seriously!? There is no way the District’s growth can sustain long term if things like this are not cleaned up. You can’t rely on emergency medical care getting there in time even in the best conditions, let alone this.

    • Honestly, it really hasn’t gotten that bad yet compared to Baltimore. That shouldn’t be taken as a positive or anything but I’m just trying to keep it in perspective. NYC had/has it really bad as well but those bikers mostly stick to the highways as it’s basically impossible to do that with the congestion through the main streets in Manhattan. Downtown DC around K Street, Pennsylvania Ave, etc is pretty empty on Sunday nights after people are done with the museums, the mall, etc. It’s a much easier place for these clowns to “ride” so they are clearly taking full advantage. MPD definitely needs to figure something out before it gets really bad.

      • “Good news, we’re not as bad as Baltimore!” Fantastic.

      • “Honestly, it really hasn’t gotten that bad yet compared to Baltimore.”

        That isn’t saying anything at all. Baltimore has one the highest rates of violent crime of any city on Earth.

    • Don’t worry, an ATV’s gas tank isn’t that big. We’ll finish displacing these guys beyond that distance within a generation.

    • “I am sad to see DC descending into Mad Max levels of lawlessness.”

      At least it hasn’t sunk to the level of extreme hyperbole.

    • Descending LOL…How long have you lived here? This is nothing new….to those who have lived in DC for significant stretches of time (ive been here 30+)

      • Yeah, I’ve been here a long time too. One of the most frustrating things about this city is that there is a cadre of long term residents who are content with a really crappy status quo. They drag the community down with their acceptance of things like a mob of hoodlums blocking an ambulance from getting an infant to the hospital and proudly declare that the city has always been this dysfunctional.

  • Pretty horrific. I wonder if this will change the enforcement of this illegal activity. My guess is probably not.

  • These ATV dudes truly are the biggest group of losers I have ever seen. It’s ironic this gang thinks of themselves as badass when they are easily the most pathetic crew around.

  • DC1

    10,000 lb vehicle vs. 200ish lb bike, I’ll just leave it at that. These clowns need a reality check.

    • Solid chance an EMT has taken the Hippocratic Oath at some point. I don’t think we can expect them to Fury Road their way to the hospital just to prove a point.

      • Not to mention, if it flips or is damaged beyond the point it can move (ex, a flat tire) they have a medically fragile patient in the back.

      • EMT’s don’t take the Hippocratic Oath, only Doctors, and it’s just tradition anyway, it has no legal basis.

        • Well you made me google and there is actually a separate EMT Oath and Code of Ethics, which includes preserve life & do no harm. As to legal basis, that’s really a red herring. I think most people who swear oaths abide by them because they have sworn to do so, not because they’re afraid of lawyers.

    • If only it were that simple. Baltimore has it the worst. It’s basically a full on war up there. Hopefully DC finds a way to put at stop to this before it gets really bad.

  • so if you’re in a car, and you try to escape the police, they will chase you, right? and if you’re on a motorcycle, they won’t?

    • Because these guys have shown themselves to be willing to ride up on sidewalks and endanger the lives of everyone around them in order to evade arrest. Police would rather not engage them at all in a chase because of that.

    • Many, if not most, jurisdictions have no-pursuit policies for motorcycles (with exceptions for things like forcible felony) for very good reasons.

    • In most cases MPD will not chase cars either.

      • baltimore has had a no-chase policy for many years, and what has that gotten them? roving gangs of biker gangs that are now so common that people just act like it’s normal. i dont know what choice the police have. their current strategy obviously isnt working (and the bikers obviously know by now that the police won’t chase them). the concern that the bikers might end up on sidewalks or wherever, if the police give chase, seems a little theoretical. my guess is one of these bikers is going to have to run over an old lady or someone with a baby stroller trying to cross the street in a crosswalk before anything changes.

    • The policy isn’t governed by the type of vehicle. It is governed by the type of crime and relative risk to the public.

  • maybe the cops should just make and publish a list of laws they’re not going to enforce

  • I wonder if the police will take them more seriously now that they’ve shown a willingness to target public employees.

  • We are not allowed to chase the said ATV’s or Dirt Bikes. We also don’t have the man power to chase the gangs of them even if we could. Nor do we have the man power to investigate where they keep the ATV’s or Dirt Bikes. Almost once a month, someone posts something along the line of “why doesn’t MPD do this?” And almost every time is because we don’t have the man power. It’s okay, keep listening to Lanier and Bowser and in two years it will burst.

    • What sort of citation would a driver get for accidentally hitting one of these guys? Absent strong evidence (like a video) of someone intentionally hitting an ATV, does a driver really have much to worry about?

      • As long as the ATV or Dirt Bike were the ones to break the traffic laws they’d be the ones that would get the ticket. But, be careful the accidents I’ve seen involving them is, they ditch the driver, grab the bike or ATV and drive off. The driver, (who is normally hurt) try’s to escape prior to our arrival. Also, the department and mayors office know that some of these guys have guns on them but still won’t let us do anything about it. It’s your city manegment that is too scared to do anything about it.

        • So, in the above scenario, if a gang of these guys were to surround a car and attempt to enter the car/threaten the car driver, and the car driver reacted by driving through the blockade injuring or killing one or more of the bikers, then what? I think I already know the answer, but I’m just wondering how MPD would handle a situation like that.

          • The survivor or his family would sue you for everything in civil court, and stand a fine chance of winning.

          • HaileUnlikely

            As Annon MPD(2) notes above, some of these guys are known to carry guns. Even if none of those involved have or use guns, when outnumbered 20:1 or 30:1, I would not expect a favorable physical outcome for myself, nevermind the legal outcome months or years later, if I were to drive into a few of them. As wdc notes, their families might sue you and might well win. My point here is that the legal outcome isn’t even relevant if they kill you first.

          • I agree with both of your points. I was referring to the comments earlier that the ambulance should have floored it or if faced with a similar circumstance, that is what you should do. I happen to disagree, even though I understand the sentiment behind wanting to take matters into your own hands. Just curious how the police would handle a case like that.

          • “The survivor or his family would sue you for everything in civil court, and stand a fine chance of winning.”
            As I said above, not if I’m on the jury. I realize there’s a small chance of that, but I can’t believe I’m the only one who feels that way. I also don’t think I’d be bold enough to run people over, though if the patient was in distress I might feel differently.

          • The family that was victimized by the Hollywood Stuntz bikers in NYC was, to my knowledge, not successfully sued.

          • dcd, the people you would want on your jury are busy at work.
            Let’s just say that many juries in the District are lacking in quality.

          • Ryan, they still had to attain legal representation. Which still cost them a boatload of time, effort, anxiety, and money. Even if you’re not convicted, there’s a good chance you’ll be saddled with a 6-figure legal bill. And your insurance will not have your back in that fight.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Ryan – didn’t that guy get his ass beat pretty badly? Maybe I’m confusing him with somebody else, but it’s not as if he won something, just because he hit a guy on a bike and didn’t go on to lose in court.

          • @Anonymous: The only legal action I can find in connection to the Hollywood Suntz case is the criminal prosecution of the bikers/assailants. It doesn’t appear that the victim/driver was ever prosecuted or sued civilly. I also can’t find any press statements from the victims lawyers indicated they ever had to retain counsel pending a charge or lawsuit.

        • Not sure why, but I take comfort knowing some of DC’s finest read this blog. Even if City Hall doesn’t seem to be listening, I like knowing that the men and women actually protecting this city are aware of what’s really going on.

        • x1000. When are the people on this website going to realize that 90% of rank and file police want to aggressively enforce laws but are prevented from doing so by policies dictated by politicians and lawyers?

          • Just so y’all know. I know of tons of rank and file officers that follow this page and or read the articles. We all care, and try to help as much as we can. But our bosses find it their job not to allow us to do it. I personally would love to track these bikes and see how many I could get off the street. Just be aware that we follow the comments and articles about what you guys need. I don’t understand how my bosses are so out of touch of what the citizens of this city need. I’ve been posting over a year, warning of MPD operational strength and it has only gotten worse.

          • Annon MPD (2), what can interested citizens do to help you all get the authority you need to help stop this?

    • Your response is disingenuous at best. We aren’t allowed to chase cars or trucks either unless there is an IMMEDIATE threat of death or serious injury to the public or officers. And it doesn’t matter where they keep the ATVs or dirt bikes because they aren’t illegal in the District. It is only illegal to operate or park them on public space. If someone has them parked on private property, there is no crime being committed. The Department is definitely short staffed, but these laws and policies have nothing to do with manpower.

  • I think stopping these things wholesale is not necessarily realistic and I honestly don’t want to risk public safety generally doing too much chasing, but it seems almost like MPD hasn’t even tried to do anything. They know when these groups start roving and since these group don’t just do it for a block or two and go home, cops have to be able to find them in some way.

    I really do think they need to first make a decision that this is a real issue that they need to work on and second think creatively on how to do it. But until they actually want to stop some of this they will never even attempt to stop it.

    • Completely agree. There is not an easy solution here but the first step is acknowledging that this has the potential to develop into something serious. It feels like MPD has not acknowledged this yet and is hoping it just goes away. By now, however, it’s clear these clowns aren’t going anywhere so MPD needs to get creative and find a way to shut this down.

  • This beyond infuriating. My son (then an infant) had to be transported by ambulance for breathing problems. I don’t know what I would have done if someone had tried to stop the ambulance. Stopping someone from getting to the hospital is one of the most heartless things imaginable and yet I know this city will continue to make excuses for this behavior, even if eventually people die as a result of these bikers’ actions. This city is so messed up…

  • Stop talking bad about the Black Hebrews. They’re the true Lost Tribe of Israel.

  • So what happens if a group of bicyclists or pedestrians block an ambulance? Are we going to ban bicycles or ban protesting? Well of course not!

    So while you may not like the behavior of these groups, banning something like ATVs or dirt bikes is wrong. It’s no different than banning bicycles because some cyclists behave badly.

    • The city already bans the use of ATVs and dirt bikes.
      .
      Unfortunately, it does not ban the mere possession of ATVs and dirt bikes, making it harder to confiscate them.

    • This has to be a second degree post right ?

    • They’re already illegal.

    • do you understand that atv’s and dirt bikes are completely illegal to operate on any road, sidewalk or street?

      • Did I say there was no ban currently in place? No. I said banning (a gerund) ATVs and dirt bikes is wrong.

        Now, if these people were all on motorcycles, mopeds or bicycles behaving this way, would we have banned motorcycles, mopeds and bicycles? Absolutely not. So why are we banning ATVs and dirt bikes?

        • because only raging a-holes drive them.

          • Nice opinion. And many are of the opinion that only raging assholes ride bicycles and motorcycles.

          • That’s your opinion, and many are of the opinion that only raging a- holes drive cars, bicycles and motorcycles.

        • Since they are not legal to drive on the street, where do you propose people be allowed to ride them in DC? On the Mall?

        • Because dirt bikes and ATVs are not street vehicles in the first place. Why not get worked up about the lack of golf carts and jet skis on the road, while you’re at it?

          • OMG, now I want to drive a golf cart to work. Thanks.

          • Skateboards, hoverboards, Segways, motorized scooters, etc. are not “street vehicles” either, but they are not banned from use in the street.

          • Actually, Brett, everything you just listed is suitable for and at least partially designed for city commutes. Bad argument is bad.

          • Yeah, so are ATVs, which stand for ALL Terrain vehicles. But moving goal posts doesn’t enhance your argument. Again, if these people were behaving the same way on motorcycles, bicycles, etc., would you support banning motorcycles and bicycles?

          • I didn’t move the goalposts, I explained why your examples didn’t meet the standard. And they still don’t. LOL at “ALL terrain” as though you don’t know it’s an off road vehicle.
            .
            They’re not banned because these assholes surrounded an ambulance. They were banned before that. Therefore your whole “why not ban bikes if they’re jerks?!” POV misses the point, as seems to be your specialty. They’re banned because they’re not street vehicles in design, emissions, noise, or function. Sorry you think you’re being discriminated against because of your dirt bike, Brett. 🙁

          • You moved goal posts and now you’re deflecting. BTW, I don’t own a dirt bike. Of course what I own or not is completely irrelevant.

            “They’re not banned because these assholes surrounded an ambulance.”

            Who said they were? You need not invent arguments I never made.

            “They’re banned because they’re not street vehicles in design, emissions, noise, or function”

            That’s your opinion. Again, golf carts, Segways etc are also not “street vehicles by design.” And the text of the original amendment to the law banning ATVs and dirt bikes says nothing about emissions or noise.

        • Why aren’t ATVs and dirt bikes allowed on the road? For starters, have you ever heard one of these things? And the pollution? Are you really serious?

        • They aren’t banned because of their potential to be driven by reckless assholes, they’re banned because they are not equipped to be ridden on city streets.

        • I mean do people have licenses and insurance to drive these things?? That’s why they’re banned, right? I don’t even understand why anyone in the city would need an ATV or dirt bike. Those things are fun to ride around the country, but seem just stupid and dangerous in the city.

        • I’m confused. You (I) know there is a ban already in place, but (ii) believe banning ATVs is wrong – so you think the ban should be overturned? This is an odd place to make that argument, but OK. As for your other posts . . . you’re getting close to Billy Madison territory.

          • There’s nothing confusing or odd about it. You can clearly see that 95% of the comments here are supportive of the ban. Yet this is not about ATVs and dirt bikes, it’s about the behavior of a few people, i.e., disobeying traffic laws. No one ever proposed banning bicycles because a lot of (probably most) bicyclists disobey traffic laws..

          • As numerous people have told you, the ban has nothing to do with the misbehavior. It has to do with the fact that these vehicles are not designed for roads, particularly city streets – they’re loud, fail emissions tests, aren’t required to be licensed, don’t require insurance. So if you think the ban should be lifted, fine – address those points. The misbehavior is a red herring in this context.
            ,
            Moreover, people think the behavior should be sanctioned. The bikers create a dangerous atmosphere. The pre-existing, unrelated ban is just a tool to address the misbehavior.
            .
            Finally, it is indeed odd to argue that a pre-existing ban (unrelated to current misbehavior) should be lifted because a few people are ignoring it and behaving in a dangerous manner, and some bicyclists behave in a dangerous manner, and we haven’t banned them. Frankly, odd is about the kindest way to describe it. Just a question – are you related to Eric, who posted below?

  • An F’ing ambulance transporting a sick baby. Seriously wtf

  • They should review their policies, and amend them to say that if dirt bike riders block an ambulance it’s procedure to simply run them over and be on your way and call for another ambulance to respond to pick up whoever got mowed down.

  • So, I was watching the video. It looks like they ride as a group in one direction (not using the lane of opposing traffic). Could MPD anticipate the route and dispatch multiple vehicles (taken from other wards: 2 or 3; and block access going forward? Then they could dispatch a vehicle on each cross street, finishing with the back end. It would take at least four vehicles to block an entire street or avenue (in both directions – sorry to the cars in the opposing lanes). Do I watch too much “Law and Order”? Surely there must be a logistical solution using squad cars…

    • Back when spring was acting like spring, and I’d have my windows open near 14th & Penn SE, I heard them frequently shortly before or after midnight going east on Pennsylvania. May not be the only way they take over the river or out of the city, but seems like one of them.

  • If the police did anything to involve force and one of the drivers was seriously injured, or, god willing, killed, you’d have the very same people rallying in front of police headquarters with their various signs and posters complaining about how they wuz good kids and never hurt nobody. Pathetic that this is what the world has come to.

    • Not exactly. You’d have folks rallying in front of police HQ when the police wholesale mow down a good kid who wasn’t on a bike at all, but who is somehow made to pay for the transgressions of another or the biases of the cop.

      You’d also have folks rallying for the kid who wasn’t on the bike, but the cop then found one and planted it beside his cold naked body and claimed he was.

      Then there’d also be a rally for the kid who was, in fact, riding a bike — but was doing it on private property off road, which isn’t even unlawful.

      That would be followed by a rally for the kid who was, in fact, riding a dirt bike on the public street. But the cop had no knowledge of that when he later finds gone kid jaywalking. But he mows him down anyway. But then it’s found to be justified because of the prior unknown infraction, his father’s alcoholism, and that time he got a C in Phys Ed.

      But Godspeed the day when there don’t have to be any such rallies. If you’re as tired of them as we are, then support the necessary reforms that can help to make them unnecessary in the first instance.

      • Wow. Are you capable of understanding that people breaking the law and putting other people’s lives at risk is not a good thing or do you always extrapolate to “the cops are bad and want to arrest everyone so let’s get rid of all the laws just cuz?” Sounds similar to what my fiance was told when she was assaulted and threatened with beheading on the block where we own our condo and busted our asses for years to be able to afford ( and we pay taxes on time, in case your wondering ). We don’t get government help. We could use it for sure but we can’t get it. I wonder if that group of teenagers that beat the guy almost to death a block from my place a few months ago gets government help? The assailants do. It’s the 8th and R crew. Everyone knows it. They get more even in the most helpful city in the country when it comes to so called “disadvantaged” people. Don’t work, don’t study, don’t try, do drugs, throw dice, shoot guns in public, make babies with as many people as possible, do more drugs, harass people, stab people, shoot people, make sure everyone hears you doing it, drop trash everywhere even if there is a trash can, hate everyone, cause as much damage as you can and call everyone that’s not of your race and especially those of your race a racial slur and attack people for no reason and the government of DC will give you everything you want. The council thinks those people deserve money now to not commit crimes anymore to the tune of $9,000 per year. Wow. If I commit a crime can I get paid too? I feel disadvantaged. I’m disadvantaged because I have to spend tons of time protecting myself from people that don’t care about life and especially mine because I’m a “cracker” which automatically makes me a terrible person apparently. I digress. Anyhow, back to the drugged up, violent and assaulting people on 7th and P…

        The cop, who was local and knew the assailant, was more concerned that he had smoked too much PCP that day and drank too much so she called him an ambulance. Didn’t matter that he had just grabbed my fiance, chased after her and threatened to cut her head off. He knows all he has to say is “I need an ambulance” and he won’t get arrested and everyone that pays taxes will pay for it because, well, apparently we want him to be able to get screwed up the next day as quickly as possible. It’s normal in this city right? That’s what the cop said. She said, “Oh, that’s just Tony. He doesn’t really mean to assault people or really mean what he says.” Really? Why isn’t he in cuffs, officer? That’s when the officer got testy. That was 8 months ago. How about the guy that chased her last week with his dick out pissing saying he was going to piss on her? Is that okay? He’s still hanging out selling drugs and doing PCP on the corner of 7th and P. Is that okay too because they somehow get a pass from following the law? How about the guy pissing on Marion and P that then charged at people, started throwing rocks and trash? He’s still there too even after being arrested. The last guy mentioned, he’s going through court for kidnapping, 5 charges of sexual assault, sexual assault on a minor and battery. He’s banned from the next block, 7th and N, but he hangs out on 7th and P now, harassing plenty. Tony, he has over 45 charges on record and they let him out after every assault. Stanley, ha, can’t even count that high. But, they are all at 7th and P. Come by and say Hi! Buy your drugs at 7th and P. It’s cool. They mayor want’s you to do so. You might even get a show from them thinking they are police and directing traffic while falling down in the street. They never get arrested or spoken too about it though. The cops just drive by and do nothing. The police can’t do anything because Mayor Bowser want’s it that way. She doesn’t want an educated voter.

        “Cuz culture and fuck those gentrifiers!” Guess what, my Grandfather was born in this city as was my father not 7 blocks from where I’m harassed, screamed at, called racial slurs like cracker or white devil just for being white and my fiance was assaulted. The group of guys don’t live here, most never did, I’ve tried at times to help many of them ( by running out and helping them when they fall late at night, calling an ambulance, bringing blankets, water, etc. ) but they don’t recall or care. Five have attempted to assault me ( throwing rocks and trash at me with racial slurs ) and my neighbors. Where is my $9k a year for being a good citizen even to those that hate me for nothing more than my skin color? Where is my city that I fight for backing me up? It’s not there.

        It’s not there.

        • So glad we didn’t take that apartment at 7th & P last year! The rent was only $1400 for an old 2BR, but we didn’t feel safe. Adams Morgan ended up being the much better decision.

          • I lived at 6th & O back in 2012. That whole area (5th to 8th streets, and M street to Rhode Island Ave.) has deep deep problems. The new developments on 7th street just made it much more apparent that simple gentrification won’t fix it. Not even close. And Johnny’s post above highlights the complacency that our elected officials and law enforcement have continued to exhibit.

  • Most of these are misdemeanor traffic offenses. MPD (and many other heavily populated areas) policy is that they don’t chase vehicles for traffic violations or misdemeanor offenses due to the inherent risks involved and the civil liability for allowing their officer’s to chase for those types of crimes.
    The best phrasing I’ve heard was “If you can’t (legally and justifiably under the law and MPD policy) shoot them, you can’t chase them”
    Here’s another tip for you, all those ideas about stopping them at gas stations and identifying the riders for later follow up, it’s been done with varying degrees of success. Or failure when 10-15 of them surround a police car and kick the doors while the one guy that was actually stopped gets away.
    Until then expect continued terrible, anti-social behavior, frustrated cops who can’t do anything about them without risking being disciplined, fired, sued, or worse.
    I just hope the “fine young people who’d never hurt anyone” you always hear about wake up before the next nicu kid in an ambulance isn’t as lucky.

  • They are illegal and should not be permitted to roam city streets. Period.

  • show of hands… how many of ou are from dc… like.. ACTUALLY from DC… not from ohio or upstate nyc or arlington, VA , oregon, but actually from DC..

    if you;re not from here, DO NOT judge these ppl. This has been a thing since i was a kid. These dudes (the majority) have never hurt or endangered anyone.

    the bikes blocked the road (for mostlikely a min.) so that NOBODY DARTS INTO THE ROAD WITH ALL THE BIKES COMING

    NYC rarely chases the dudes.

    baltimore too.

    actually you’re not supposed to chase motor bike anyway, it causes wayyyyyyyyyyy to many accidents (yes thats a real thing)

    Stop classifying these dudes a criminals.

    it’s crazy because damn near all of you are casting a net of these people being anarcist looking to kill people.

    they’re riding bikes. in mass. Chill.. move on..

    i’m not okay with causing life threatning problems for people. But over all… you’re not from here. don’t comment on things you don’t know about.

    • Hi Eric,

      I’m from DC and in would like to ask where I can catch your act? This is good stuff. I think you could open for Seinfeld. Keep us posted.

    • Be prepared for the backlash lol
      It’s a-coming!

    • Is this code?

    • With apologies to Accountering . . .
      Mr. eric, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this thread is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

    • Show of hands, how many people this is a really, really stupid post? Not like, kind of stupid, but completely stupid? I know I do.

    • This is an amazingly stupid argument. They’re being classified as criminals because they’re committing a crime. Riding street illegal bikes, “in mass,” is a crime. Blocking the road so that they can all run red lights is a crime. Stopping an ambulance and trying to get into the driver’s door is a crime.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Moron. The majority of people who drive drunk have never injured or killed anyone. Does that make it ok in your book? Don’t answer that. Moron.

    • My partner is a native DCer. He hates these guys. Not every DC native feels the same as you. They aren’t harmless if they’re stopping emergency vehicles from doing their job. This city already has a terrible response time for ambulances, and they don’t need anyone making that worse.

    • I live in DC. I sincerely hope these guys get themselves killed before/without harming anyone else.

      • +1,000 Every time the Post runs an article about one of them crashing and ending up paralyzed or dead, I just think to myself “Darwin wins again!”. I’d rather a hundred of them kill themselves crashing than for them to hurt a single innocent bystander.

        • me too. DC native, moved back to DC 4 years ago after living in other major cities. I don’t care how people who willingly endanger the lives of others get off the streets – I just want them off.

    • don’t feed the hairy troll

    • Translation: please turn a blind eye while my buddies and I break the law. It’s OK, because I’m from DC and people have been breaking laws since I was a kid.

  • As with many other criminal activities in this city….these types of activities will be allowed to escalate and go pretty much unaddressed because groups are only breaking “minor laws”. Someone has to be seriously injured or more likely killed for DC do anything serious about the bikes.

  • I’ve commented before on these damned nuisances. I understand the reluctance to get into a chase with them, but they are noisy and dangerous and need to be dealt with in some manner.

  • I dont wanna downplay the seriousness of this to some of you, but come on – I travel from NW to SE everyday in every kind of traffic situation that you can think of and on a daily basis I’ve seen regular passenger vehicles do the following with ZERO REMORSE for the EMT and their passengers:

    1) tail ambulances that are not transporting their loved ones…I think the law is 500-1000 feet?
    2) do not pull over when sirens and lights are on, they speed up or continue to drive alongside the emergency vehicles as if they are not in the midst of a crisis
    3) rather than continue through an intersection when streets are jammed and an emergency vehicle needs to pass, they just sit and hold up traffic….similar to this scenario

    Whether this situation was deliberately done or not, give these guys a break. If its such a problem, get off the blog and lodge your complaints to your councilman/woman and the police chief – that is what they are there and get paid for. Jail and fines are not the answer, they’ll be back on the street in a few hours and down Blue Plains to pick up their ATV/dirt bike. And neither are stop strips or police chases, you will have an even bigger issue on your hand when one of these riders gets hurt or possibly dies. All lawsuits and wrongful death payments will be coming out of yours (and my) taxpayer dollars.

    Lets not forget about Amir Brooks who died after being chased from PG County into DC his death should be a reminder to us all that everything isnt worth the fight sometimes….these folks will grow up and out of this eventually – http://dcist.com/2014/08/a_reminder_why_dc_police_dont_chase.php

    • So “they’ll grow out of it” is your best argument?

      How many people do they have to kill first? This is unacceptable behavior for a world class city to endure.

      • Please show me an incident where someone has been killed in DC from an ATV running them over. I’ve lived here 30+ yrs and never heard of such a thing maybe I missed something…..

        And that is sad that you’d praise someone losing their life over something that is REALLY trivial. I just gagged foreal….

        • Spare me your ignorance and excuses for these societal castoffs:

          Dirt bike riders shot and killed 7-year old reporter Charnice Milton in 2015, using the bikes as getaway vehicles.

          In May of 2015 a bystander was struck and killed by a dirt bike in Baltimore.

          In June 2015, the wife of a D.C. police officer was the victim of a drive-by attack from teenagers on dirt bikes and ATVs.

          As noted above, in September 2014 a 23-year-old woman who was struck by a motorbike on Alabama Avenue and left permanently disabled.

    • The estates of Amir Brooks and Arnell Robinson haven’t won anything yet and I have a hard time believing they will ever collect a substantial judgment from a DC jury as citizens are increasingly unwilling to put up with this sort of hooliganism. Once those precedents are set it will be much easier for our police to end the no-chase policy.

      The only thing of value that Amir Brooks and Arnell Robinson contributed to our society was not taking any innocent lives with them.

    • I agree – we should all remember Amir Brooks as why chasing is the best possible choice in these cases. You either catch them or they end up killing themselves, but either way law-abiding citizens are not harmed. That is an excellent outcome.
      .
      And no, we don’t have to worry about big lawsuits in situations like these. There’s a reason why the case wasn’t settled – it’s because the city knows it will win. Juries don’t tend to be generous to the families of criminals who die as a result of their crime.

    • This was my fellow RN coworker who was on that ambulance. I saw the whole thing while sitting at the traffic light . They were doing wheelies and the atvs were driving really slow , to slow to be on a road. The ambulance driver EMT / Firefighter had honked his horn several times approaching his turn and that is when the atv and other motorcyclist had stopped the driver from turning. I felt horrible and helpless as this happened and enraged that I knew who was on there and how mindless these guys were. Let the guys doing wheelies die from risking their life, theses guys have no right on these roads and have targeted a ambulance with a innocent child in it. It makes me so mad that I watched t happen and how this idiots of men act so stupid . DC may have some highly intelligent residents but they have a whole lot of stupid ones too! I had to vent , I don’t know of a perfect solution but this act of stupidity could of been so much worse. I’m glad the patient was ok and no one was hurt this time.

    • There has to be some middle ground between complete inaction and police chases. I think the frustration that most of us feel is that both of these polar extremes are unacceptable, not just the latter.

      I agree with you that there are other, albeit more socially acceptable infractions that a whole lot of folks in the District (and likely on Popville) are also guilty of committing. These are just as wrong and inconsiderate, and it’s more a difference of degree than a difference in kind.

  • Yes, worrying about a mob preventing an ambulance from transporting an infant to the ICU is just another example of gentrifier privledge. What a well thought out post.

  • If you want something right you gotta go it yourself.

  • Wow, an open call for murder. How evil.

    • In addition to your logic bone, your sarcasm meter is broken. You’re really on a roll (ha! a roll, get it?) today

  • 1) MPD is not allowed to pursue. Even for armed carjackings and shootings, officers are routinely ordered to terminate pursuits. MPD had a teletype ordering them not to pursue ATV riders prior to the shooting in SE involving a reporter.

    2) OAG no-papers the overwhelming majority of cases involving ATV’s. They cite poor police paperwork or some other trivial reason. Even if convicted, there would be no jail time (code states a maximum of 30 days in jail – that would only happen to a repeat offender).

    3) Most individual officers want to be able to take action against these guys, but their hands are tied.

  • This is absolutely ridiculous, not to mention utterly abhorrent behavior! This is the direct result of not raising one’s children properly. Such a callous disregard for human life, in obvious distress no less, doesn’t bode well is inexcusable. It’s also a shame that the District lacks the political will to do something about this once and for all. How many people have to die before we’ll enforce the ATV laws?!?! In the meantime, I wish there were a way for police officers to lawfully safely immobilize bikes while they’re in use by riders on the public streets.

  • Had a chance to chat with the Bowie Police Chief about this. They like DC do not chase, but they ask officers and citizens to collect photos and videos to help positively ID the perps, and then try to deal with it off-line when the reckless-driving-gang is not out on the roads. Wonder if DC MPD tries this too….??

  • I blame the movie Creed.

  • My 2 year old daughter was nearly run over by one of these assholes Sunday evening. We were walking on the SIDE WALK on New Jersey Ave and one of these maniacs was going 50 MPH right at us! Of course, DC government / police department DGAF.

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