NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — You can call it a “bike bedlam” crackdown by the New York Police Department.
Several teenage bicycle riders who are talented, but have been causing trouble for drivers in Staten Island, have been arrested. Charges include reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reports, residents have been complaining about the riders endangering both themselves and others. The NYPD caught several of the riders in the act Tuesday night.
The skilled daredevils record their two-wheeled exploits and post them on social media. Their freewheeling antics often irritate Staten Island drivers.
Many marvel at the riders’ talent even as they question their judgement.
“I couldn’t do that when I was a kid,” exclaimed one driver.
Still, others are worried.
“I find it dangerous for the kids, and also for myself, because God forbid you hit one of them,” Staten Island resident Christina Nocerino said. “They don’t even look, they just come out and do purposely, they ride in groups and packs, pop wheelies in front of cars as cars are driving down the road.”
On a popular Staten Island Facebook page, hundreds of readers complained about the bike riders after someone posted pictures of a pack of bikers impeding traffic on busy Hylan Boulevard.
Mike Reilly moderates that Facebook page.
“We want them to ride bikes, but we want them to do it safely,” he says. “I’m all for pulling wheelies, having fun, but when you’re jeopardizing, playing chicken with a 4,000 pound car, right?”
The NYPD has been keeping an eye on the situation, and on Tuesday, patrol officers arrested at least four young riders for reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct. Their bikes — which sell for around $1,000 — were confiscated.
“They’re letting them know how serious this is,” he said, “it’s a potentially deadly situation.”
CBS2 reported that police are also keeping their eye on a so-called “rideout” that bike riders have planned for Thursday afternoon. They’re worried it could attract dozens of riders and create problems along the route from Great Kills to Tottenville.