RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — Four months after a man riding a dirt bike collided with a Richmond police officer on Broad Street, several men were caught on camera Sunday riding all-terrain vehicles (ATV), doing stunts and reportedly running red lights.
Three men riding four-wheelers – two without helmets – were seen near the National Theater early Sunday evening over the course of two hours, according to a witness who decided to record some of the ordeal after he said he called 911 several times.
“Something bad could happen,” the Petersburg man said, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation. “They were popping wheelies, going in and out of traffic, going through lights.”
After the man said he called 911 the first time – around 5 p.m. – two subsequent attempts apparently failed to attract the attention of authorities to the location where he captured the dangerous driving. The drivers’ carelessness is similar to a scene on broad just several months ago.
The Richmond Police Department told 8News that officers were alerted to the situation on Broad Street, and were told to be on the lookout for the ATV drivers, but police said at the time of the calls, “patrol officers were already assigned to higher priority calls.”
A potential danger to other motorists and pedestrians, one of the riders opted to stand on the seat, while crouched over the moving ATV.
While waiting for any officers to arrive, the witness hit record to show proof of what was happening.
“This is a problem. Maybe they [police] will respond to an accident that’s caused by that. They can’t fix it if they aren’t responding to the actual problem,” he said.
“But they’re also going against the traffic. To me it was, sort of, crazy,” the witness added.
In January, a man collided with a Richmond police officer on West Broad Street near the Virginia Commonwealth University campus, reportedly leaving the officer with head injuries before leaving the scene.
According to Virginia state code, no ATVs “shall be operated on any public highway or other public property” unless otherwise approved by authorities. In addition, the code reads, “riders of such all-terrain vehicles shall wear approved helmets.”
Mayor Levar Stoney and Chief Gerald Smith have previously been outspoken about this kind of behavior, after the January incident.
State code details that anyone who is charged with driving an ATV on public roads could be fined up to $500 — a civil penalty. However, reckless driving charges involve a minimum $250 fine, and if there’s an accident, consequences get stiffer.