Photo by Rob Sheldon
“In April, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) along with various regional law enforcement partner agencies announced that they were cracking down on people riding all-terrain vehicles (ATV) and dirt bikes on public roadways. During that announcement, approximately 245 images of individuals recklessly driving these vehicles were released by MPD.
“These vehicles are extremely dangerous to pedestrians and other motorists,” said Captain Michael Pavlik with the Criminal Intelligence Branch. “They are designed for off-road use and not for city streets, sidewalks, or any other public space that threatens the safety of our communities.”
The Criminal Intelligence Branch investigates gang crimes and homeland security issues. Under Captain Pavlik’s leadership these investigations are handled efficiently with appropriate attention to the sensitive nature of parties involved.
Since the announcement of this initiative, several arrests were made regarding the illegal activity of these vehicles. One of the latest incidents occurred on Thursday, June 9, 2016 at approximately 9:16 pm, when members of the Sixth District observed an adult male operating an ATV in the 2800 block of Minnesota Avenue, Southeast. The suspect noticed the officer’s cruiser and attempted to flee on the ATV but struck another unidentified ATV rider. After falling off the ATV, the first suspect fled on foot. A brief foot pursuit ensued and officers apprehended the suspect in the 2900 block of Nelson Place, Southeast. Suspect one’s ATV was recovered on the scene. The other unidentified ATV rider made good his escape. The case remains under investigation.
After investigation, 33-year-old Darvin Banks of Northeast, DC was arrested and charged with illegally Operating an All-Terrain Vehicle or Dirt Bike.
“MPD has seen a significant increase of ATV and dirt bike arrests. In the months of April and May MPD made 27 arrests of people illegally operating ATVs and dirt bikes. Additionally, we have recovered over 30 ATVs and dirt bikes,” said Pavlik.
Last year, 77 individuals were arrested for Operating an All-Terrain Vehicle or Dirt Bike and 117 ATV’s and dirt bikes were recovered. MPD continues to explore new options to handle these vehicles that operate recklessly and openly against the law, on National Capitol Region roadways. Members of the Criminal Intelligence Branch have been viewing video footage, working with local law enforcement agencies, and sharing information with the community.
“MPD shares the communities concerns about ATV’s in our city,” said Pavlik. “It sickens me that these riders have no concern for the safety of others. This is extremely unsafe and unacceptable.”
It is illegal to ride or operate a minibike, dirt bike, or ATV anywhere on public space in the District of Columbia, including streets, sidewalks, alleyways, bike lanes, public trails, and other public locations.
“With the assistance of our regional partners and the community, numerous riders have been identified and those cases are being presented for prosecution,” said Pavlik.
This initiative includes members of the Metropolitan Police Department, Prince George’s County Police Department, Maryland State Police, Maryland National-Capital Park and Planning, Arlington County Police Department, Alexandria County Police Department, Virginia State Police, United States Park Police, District of Columbia Office of the Attorney General, and the United States Attorney’s Office.
MPD continues to seek the public’s assistance in identifying the operators of several ATV’s and dirt bikes as well as any locations where the vehicles are being stored. A reward of $250 is being offered for information that leads to a successful confiscation. All of the photos can be viewed on MPD’s website.”