Video shows po­lice o∞cer’s leap from bike to ATV

Spokes­woman says he did not vi­o­late city’s ‘no chase pol­icy’

The Washington Post - - METRO - BY DANA HEDGPETH

A video posted to so­cial me­dia shows a D.C. po­lice of­fi­cer lung­ing from his bi­cy­cle to try to stop a rider on an all-ter­rain ve­hi­cle. Po­lice are ask­ing for the pub­lic’s help in iden­ti­fy­ing the ATV rid­ers.

It is il­le­gal to ride ATVs in most area ju­ris­dic­tions, and the Dis­trict has been try­ing to crack down on rid­ers. Most po­lice ju­ris­dic­tions en­cour­age of­fi­cers not to get in­volved in a high-speed chase of ATV rid­ers out of concern for the safety of of­fi­cers and the pub­lic.

In the video, some rid­ers on ATVs can be heard laugh­ing as they lead po­lice on a slow chase through the city. The in­ci­dent hap­pened Sun­day along the 14th Street cor­ri­dor in North­west Wash­ing­ton.

At one point in the video, an of­fi­cer on a bi­cy­cle comes close to an ATV and jumps off as he tries to reach for the rider, but he misses and falls to the ground. A po­lice cruiser fol­low­ing him and the ATV stops. D.C. po­lice said the of­fi­cer on the bike suf­fered mi­nor in­juries.

Karimah Bi­lal, a spokes­woman for D.C. po­lice, said in an email that the Dis­trict’s “no chase pol­icy” on ATVs and dirt bikes “was not vi­o­lated.”

Bi­lal said the of­fi­cer on the bike and of­fi­cers in a cruiser were “fol­low­ing” the ATV rid­ers, “which is typ­i­cal of what we do in this type of in­ci­dent.”

“They were go­ing at a slow rate, and their emer­gency lights were not ac­ti­vated,” she said. “They were not chas­ing. They were just fol­low­ing them, stan­dard pro­to­col.”

The video was posted on Red­dit, and WUSA 9 was among the first to re­port on the in­ci­dent. D.C. po­lice said there had been no ar­rests.

In a state­ment, D.C. po­lice said “the il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity of the ATV rid­ers con­sis­tently places the pub­lic in dan­ger and ex­hibits im­ma­ture be­hav­ior.” Au­thor­i­ties said they have looked at the video and are us­ing it as part of their in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Po­lice said they were ask­ing for the pub­lic’s help to iden­tify those in­volved. They also said they have re­ceived “count­less tips” and want to “bring th­ese in­di­vid­u­als to jus­tice.”

Dirt bikes and ATVs in the Dis­trict and Bal­ti­more have long drawn concern from res­i­dents and po­lice.

In the sum­mer, more than 100 rid­ers drove through the H Street cor­ri­dor in North­east Wash­ing­ton and the streets of Na­tional Har­bor in Prince Ge­orge’s County. He­li­copters fol­lowed the group as it rode through traf­fic and onto side­walks for roughly half an hour.

A month af­ter that in­ci­dent, D.C. po­lice held an event where it de­stroyed more than 60 ATVs and dirt bikes that had been seized or aban­doned. They were crushed and taken to a scrap yard.

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