Concerns about illegal dirt bikes on New Haven streets are heating up with the warmer weather. Neighbors say this is a major problem, creating a public safety crisis.
The community meeting with police to come up with solution to tackle the problem. Cell phone and DOT video shows dare devil dirt bike riders pushing the limits, popping wheelies and racing past cars on side roads and even major highways like Interstate 95. Some speeding by cop cars or even driving straight at them.
“I’ve seen the dirt bikes circle the police cars, go after the police cars,“ Dennis Serfilippi said. “It sends a message that the city is out of control, that it’s a lawless city.“
Serfilippi say riders, by the dozen, terrorize his neighborhood.
“There is a huge amount of liability the city takes on if someone is in a public park or sidewalk and gets hurt by one of these dirt bikes,“ Serfilippi added.
Lieutenant Herb Sharp with the New Haven Police Department saying they will not chase the riders.
“Our main concern is the safety of the kids,“ Lt. Sharp said. “You can have a 12-year-old driving a motorcycle. We are not going to pursue them to cause more of a hazard for everyone.“
Police say they’re going to start targeting riders who organize large scale get togethers online.
“You can have up to 30-60 riders at one time so intel gets involved, and we try to develop a plan to respond to that,“ Lt. Sharp added.
In September of last year, eight dirt bike riders were arrested and charged. More than a dozen bikes seized. Officers saying seizing the bikes is very effective.
Neighbors also proposing gas stations work with the city to turn off pumps when large groups of riders get together and fill up.
New Haven Police are now working on developing their own plan including what kind of manpower, technology and resources are needed. They will then present their findings to the city.