Motorcycles caught on camera disrupting traffic in Washington Heights

Josh Einiger reports from Washington Heights.
January 13, 2014 3:34:13 PM PST
A Washington Heights resident posted video of a group of motorcyclists outside a funeral home Sunday.

In the video, which surfaced Monday on YouTube, the motorcyclists, along with a couple of ATVs, did wheelies and figure eights on the local street while traffic was stopped.

About a dozen motorcyclists can be seen taking over part of Broadway at 190th Street, sending clouds of smoke from burned rubber in the air.

Eyewitnesses say it's a common occurrence in the neighborhood, especially in front of the Ortiz Funeral Home, where the group was supposedly trying to 'honor' a friend whose viewing was taking place inside.

But long-time resident Lydia Zelaya says it is no place for these types of stunts on the street.

"It's outrageous. Hpow do you stop something like that?", said Zelaya. "It's putting people in danger, old people, little children, there are plenty of them in the neighborhood."

It is eerily similar to the videotaped takeover of the Henry Hudson Parkway by a group of bikers back in September, which ended in a confrontation with Alexien Lien, who ran over one of the bikers and then was chased down, pulled from his car, and beaten.

Nearly a dozen bikers were arrested in that case, which ended in Washington Heights not far from the scene of Sunday's incident.

As for the newest case, police from the 34th precinct are looking into the video, though they say they have yet to receive a formal complaint.

City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez says enough is enough. He's sponsoring legislation to make these sudden stunts easier to control.

"They should have permits. In the city of New York, in order for us to hold a rally and have a sound system we need to go through the whole process. So we believe now it is time, with what happened last year and what happened last night in front of the funeral, should not happen anymore," said Rodriguez.

To view the video on YouTube, CLICK HERE