In an effort to curb the influx of dirt bikers that have invaded and terrorized their city streets, officials with the New York City Police Department promised Monday that they will be destroying all confiscated dirt bikes and ATVs — and they will be doing it all on live television so that the culprits can watch.
“We have significant resources out looking to get these characters, these knuckleheads if you will,” New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton told reporters about illegal dirt bikers during a press conference at the NYPD headquarters. “We intend to take all of these [bikes] and just crush them.”
While major crimes have been trending downward through early 2016 in New York City — Gothamist reports drops of 21% and 14% in murders and shootings, respectively, in the first quarter of 2016 — illegal ATV and dirt bike activity has been rampant on the city streets.
According to the New York Post, in the first quarter of the year, the NYPD has already seized 312 illegal rides, which is more than double the amount confiscated during the same period last year.
“We are going to crush them on TV to make a point,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the same press conference, echoing Bratton’s sentiment.
The reason for the crackdown, according to Bratton, is that the riders are quickly making the already-crowded streets of New York City even more dangerous by driving recklessly through the Big Apple — performing wheelies and running red lights in the nation’s most densely populated city.
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) April 3, 2016
Bratton is confident destroying the dirt bikes will work because he has previous experience with a similar campaign: While working as the chief of police for Los Angeles in the early 2000s, Bratton used the same strategy to lower illegal drag racing in the streets of the city.
“It killed [those drivers] to see their cars out there in the desert,” he said. “We’d lift them up with a crane 100 feet off the ground and drop them.”
Bratton and de Blasio’s decision to destroy confiscated dirt bikes en masse comes in stark contrast to developments out of Baltimore, where city officials recently announced plans to build a designated city park area where riders can legally practice their passion.
When asked on Monday if he would consider a similar plan, Bratton was flippant.
“Let them go out to Long Island and ride them,” he said.
Bratton wasn’t specific when the live destruction will take place, but said it would be some time this spring.
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