For nearly 25 minutes Sunday, a biker mob in New York City blocked traffic and forced pedestrians on the sidewalk out of their way. Now, the New York Police Department is seeking public help to identify the perpetrators caught on camera.
The topic of such biker gangs forcing intimidation on other motorists and pedestrians is an especially hot topic after a similar incident last year resulted in a driver being beaten in front of his family and left a biker paralyzed.
WPIX-TV described the group, which was riding circles and popping wheelies outside a funeral home memorializing a friend who died, as “shutting down a Manhattan street and terrorizing pedestrians.” Watch the news station’s report:
A fed up resident filmed and wrote of the incident on YouTube:
Motorcycle gangs roam freely in upper Manhattan, particularly in Washington Heights, where the local police are unwilling or unable to intervene. The gangs close avenues and highways for long periods of time, setting off fireworks, damaging property (see 1:15), driving on the sidewalks, and attacking anyone who dares defy them.
In this occasion the mayhem went on for about 20~25 minutes, but unfortunately my recorder ran out of space and only captured about two minutes of it.
The police usually show up long after everyone has left, and leave shortly after without making any report, since that helps keep crime statistics low.
Watch the footage:
The incident occurred in the Washington Heights neighborhood of the city, which is only a few blocks away from the infamous biker mob attack that occurred last year. In late September, a mob attacked an SUV after it stuck one of their fellow bikers. One man was left paralyzed and in a coma in the incident, which spurred debate on who was in the right in this case — if anyone.
As a result of last year’s attack, state senator, Adriano Espaillat, and Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa introduced bills that would make certain bike stunts on public roads illegal and would require permits for riding in a group of 50 or more, Gothamist reported.
Gothamist also obtained a statement from the council member who represents this neighborhood regarding the biker situation.
“Motorcycles continue to be the scourge of the northern Manhattan community and have no right to neither harass our drivers nor shut down our streets at any time,” Ydanis Rodriguez said, according to Gothamist. “I am currently working on legislation that will help to curb this behavior and keep our streets clear of all who would seek to disrupt traffic for a cheap thrill.
“If motorcycle riders want to be respected they must be respectful of the communities in which they ride. Displays such as yesterday’s serve only to intimidate drivers and pedestrians and create unacceptable levels of noise pollution.”