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“MPD has seen a significant increase of ATV and dirt bike arrests.”

by Prince Of Petworth June 14, 2016 at 11:46 am 17 Comments

Photo by Rob Sheldon

From MPD:

“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.”


  • ParkViewneighbor

    Cannot really figure out if it is good or bad.
    MPD released a yearbook of ATV’s most wanted, yet doesn’t seem to have actually managed to grab more than the poor fool who ran into his buddy… Any clue ?
    But for once, go MPD, i just hope the pressure will be maintained and that it is not simply another PR stunt

  • Zinman

    How about, if you’re caught riding one of these things, part of the punishment is forfeiture of the bike? Every month, all the bikes that have been seized should be taken to a junkyard, placed in a crusher and destroyed beyond repair. If you had your seized, you’re welcome to come say farewell.

    • ANON

      They already forfeit the bike, but i have enjoyed the online videos of cops crushing the bikes in other cities.

      Also i saw a cop drive by a small 4 wheeler parked on the side of the road this weekend, my hope is he just didn’t notice it, and it wasn’t just a lazy move where he decided to drive on by.

      I know there are many cops who read this blog, anyone have any thoughts they can share with us on their opinion of this enforcement and what else can be done other than waiting till they crash or grabbing from their garages?

      • anon5

        It is not illegal to store or park an ATV on the side of the road; it is only illegal to operate it on public property.

        • Anon MPD

          Nope, you can’t park it on public space either. However, it does take time to get it picked up to be impounded, so I am hoping the officer was on his or her way to another call, and called someone else to come pick it up.

    • Dan

      Better to sell them to the highest bidder through the normal government surplus channels. Restrict the auctions to out-of-state bidders (non-DC/MD/VA, perhaps) Turn these problem bikes/ATVs into revenue for the city

      • ANON

        Why? so we can pay the same kids a stipend to stay out of trouble over the summer?

  • Phil

    I really don’t understand DC Police when they say they have a no-chase policy when dealing with large packs of riders. Isn’t that just a “we are not going to enforce the law” policy? I get it is dangerous for the officers, but isn’t is also dangerous for these groups to act in blatant disregard of the law with no consequences and continue riding unimpeded. Even if they arrest one 1 or 2 riders, doesn’t that provide a disincentive for illegal behavior? Doesn’t that start to help the problem? If a police officer witnesses illegal riding, they should pull over the offending rider no matter the group size. Eluding a police officer in a vehicle is a felony. Seeing other riders go to JAIL for this behavior just might get them to think twice.

    • It’s not to protect bike riders, it’s to protect other citizens who may become collateral damage if a high speed chase were to ensue through city streets. That would inevitably result in a lawsuit which would further cripple the MPD’s operating budget.

      • anon

        seriously, i would not want to be a pedestrian or a cyclist when those guys are getting chased by the cops, who knows where they would try to go on their stupid bikes.

        also, how do they do those tricks without dying? i do not understand.

    • NT

      From: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/atv-driver-caught-on-video-taunting-officer-is-identified-police-say/2016/06/02/3e8d1e96-28ba-11e6-b989-4e5479715b54_story.html

      Police said they did not pursue the vehicle at the time because it did not meet the department’s “pursuit policy.” That policy allows officers to pursue ATV riders for such violations as a robbery, shooting or other violent crime, according to Officer Tyler Hunter, a police spokesman.

      “Reckless driving is of a nature that is something we’re not able to do a pursuit for,” Hunter said. “We have to look at the benefit and the potential danger as a whole” when it comes to pursuits of ATV riders.

      “We have to weigh those options for the benefit of the community,” he said. “Our goal is to have the safest outcomes and place the fewest number of people at risk of injury.”

    • Anon MPD

      Justinbc and others are correct — it is about the overall risk to public safety. So many innocent by-standers are killed during police pursuits. Here is the first article that popped up when I googled that.


  • nobody important

    There’s a set of two guys who ride up and down 5th Street for hours after school lets out. One of them recently rode up onto the aidewalk to impress a friend. I have never called the police, I mean, what can they do? They’re not allowed to chase the guys and they don’t seem patient enough (my experience with previous calls for other issues where they peek around then leave) to sit at a corner for 20 minutes waiting for the guy to come back up the street when I call.

    So I am not sure what we’re supposed to do. These two kids (sometimes there is only one) start riding like clockwork from 3 to 6 pm up and down 5th street NW

    • JohnH

      I’d still report it. If nothing else, if there is a cop around they may be more hesitant to ride there.

    • navyard

      Please don’t report it. As long as they’re in your neighborhood, they are not in mine.

      • SassyinDC, Hillcrest/Ward7

        lol– I”m inclined to agree with your sentiment.

  • Avenging Angel

    The news showed how NYC confiscates the bikes, lines them up between two sets of old tires, and runs over them with a bulldozer. Very satisfying.


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