NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton does not hold back in his assessments of ATV and dirt bike riders who speed en masse on city streets, pop wheelies, and run red lights when the weather starts to warm up. "We have significant resources out looking to get these characters, these knuckleheads if you will," Bratton told reporters last month, adding, "they're not going to be too happy when we take those damn [bikes] and crush them."
That public display of force could take place as soon as tomorrow afternoon, according to the department. And in an apparent effort to get New Yorkers jaw grinding and knuckle cracking, the NYPD recently invited ABC on a ride-along with bike busters from the 44th Precinct in the Bronx. It turns out cops on the ground communicate with helicopters from the NYPD's aviation unit, tracking bikers who are apparently aware of being stalked from above.
"Aviaton: up above, in the sky... they can tell us what direction they [the bikers] are heading," one cop told ABC.
"[Bikers once] went under the train tracks trying to elude us, so they are aware they're being watched," another added.
ABC also documented officers blocking bikes into alleys, blaring sirens, and breaking locks with massive pliers. According to Brian Mullen of the 44th, the majority of the bikes confiscated this year to date have been unregistered and unlicensed, many of them stolen. This year to date, hundreds have been confiscated in the South Bronx, Northern Manhattan and Brooklyn.
ATVs and dirt bikes are illegal within NYC limits, but the NYPD has a policy against chasing caravans of riders on city streets (in October 2013, one chase ended with a police officer shooting an ATV driver; in 2013, officers fatally struck a man on a dirt bike during a chase).
"We like to apprehend them as they are gassing up in the gas stations or as they are gathering in parks or deserted streets," NYPD Housing Chief Carlos Gomez told reporters last month. "We'll descend on the streets and apprehend as best we can."
Here's a warmup to this week's bike-crushing porn: