Residents capture dangerous video as NYPD cracks down on ATVs and motorbikes

STATEN ISLAND (WABC) -- The NYPD is cracking down on those three-wheeling all-terrain vehicles that have been, police say, menacing New Yorkers and causing chaos on the street.

Staten Island is a target for those crackdowns and home of some frightening video captured by a resident.

This incident is yet another example of ATVs and motorbike drivers disrupting traffic because well they think this is cool.

The Staten Island driver captured the dangerous maneuvers as part of a growing group of New Yorkers who are fed up.

"I think it's a shame. Why would you do that to people who are trying to get to work?" said Frankie Carrera, a resident.

"That's crazy. This is no place for play like that," said Juan Carlos Garcia, a resident.

"It's a little bit unsafe, but it's not a big deal if no one is getting hurt," said Violetta Polkanoba, a resident.

"It's absolutely terrible. I'd like to see the police be able to do more not have their hands tied with things like this," said Frank Salzillo, a resident.

Police say every weekend ATVs and dirt bikes take over New York City streets.

NYPD Chief of Patrol Carlos Gomez showed Eyewitness News plenty of examples including; dirt bikers wearing no helmets driving recklessly in the South Bronx, large groups of bikes and ATVs stopping traffic to perform stunts in Washington Heights, and even some riders taking over sidewalks.

Videos show pedestrians trying to get out of the way to avoid getting hurt.

"We apprehend when safe. We do not want to chase these individuals through the streets. I believe that causes a greater danger to motorists, pedestrians and themselves. Most of the time they do not wear helmets, they tend to be teens. We like to apprehend at gas stations or as they rally up in parks or in streets," Chief Gomez said.

In the last two weeks alone, the NYPD has made 65 seizures and 12 arrests for driving recklessly.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton says this year 312 ATVs motorcycles and motorbikes were seized.

"I describe this as a big problem because of the danger and risk these clowns present in terms of their pack mentality, where they have no concern for public safety at all. They are on sidewalks, in traffic. Make no mistake about it, we treat this very seriously. These clowns, so they haven't gotten their message yet, the way you get the message is you take these bikes, so near and dear to them," Bratton said.
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