PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Providence police made several arrests Sunday as they responded to reports of a large group of illegal off-road vehicles being ridden recklessly throughout the city.
The department received around 17 calls complaining about the group between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., according to the police report obtained by 12 News.
After stopping and arresting a 24-year-old dirt bike rider on Potters Avenue, Providence police were then called to Branch Avenue to assist Rhode Island State Police with the seizure of a scooter which was reportedly part of a large group of recreational vehicles that had stopped traffic on nearby I-95.
The 23-year-old rider was issued a court summons and given a mandatory hearing, police said.
Around 6 p.m., a patrol officer reported that the group was preventing him from responding to an emergency call on Douglas Avenue.
Roughly 50 ATV and dirt bike riders were seen gathering and filling up at a gas station on Smithfield Avenue. As the officers pulled one of the riders off a bike and detained him, police said the rest began to flee, with some obstructing traffic on Silver Spring Street and circling the officers.
At one point, a man riding a black and yellow dirt bike pulled up behind the cruiser and broke a rear tail light before riding off, the report said.
The 21-year-old rider they stopped is due to appear in court next week for operating a recreational vehicle on a roadway and aiding and abetting in violation of motor vehicle laws, according to police.
Another rider was taken to the hospital with a wrist injury. The 24-year-old told police he was speeding down De Pinedo Street and tried to stop short at the intersection of Argol Street, which caused the rear of his ATV to lift and launch him over the handlebars.
Police said that rider was issued a release to appear in court for illegal operation of an ATV on a roadway.
Around the same time, other riders were reportedly doing donuts and spinning their tires in the middle of Silver Spring and Charles streets. As they tried to flee, police said an officer grabbed the wrist of a motorcycle rider who was up on the sidewalk. The rider got away but lost control of the motorcycle, causing him to fall into a mulch bed.
The 32-year-old man suffered minor scrapes but refused medical treatment, police said. He told the officers he wasn’t associated with the large group, but was issued a summons for several violations including not having a motorcycle license and not having plates on the bike.
The officers all activated their body-worn cameras during these incidents, according to the report.
Commander Thomas Verdi commended them for their actions.
“The officers did an excellent job under the circumstances,” he said.