PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Lori Quattrini and her daughter were eating outside at Plant City Sunday night when more than a dozen motorcycles, mopeds and ATVs drove by, startling them both.
“One person on a motorcycle ─ aiming at us in a shooting motion,” Quattrini said. “My daughter and I immediately sunk into our seats because we thought we were being shot.”
Surveillance footage from the area shows the group of motorcycles and off-road vehicles traveling down Water Street.
Quattrini described the group’s behavior as loud and aggressive.
“They’re doing wheelies and yelling and screaming and hollering,” she recalled.
The kind of commotion Quattrini experienced is why the Providence Police Department and Mayor Jorge Elorza have made it a priority to get all non-registered ATVs and dirt bikes off city streets.
In 2017, the Providence City Council passed an ordinance allowing police to confiscate illegal dirt bikes and ATVs, which are then slated for destruction.
Quattrini indicated that this isn’t the first time she’s encountered packs of off-road vehicles, adding that it happens while she’s driving in the city as well.
“On the highway when they go in front of me and do wheelies on the highway or on the side streets,” she said. “That is also very frightening because I don’t want to hit them.”
The same night Quattrini saw the group of motorcycles and ATVs, Jhamal Gonsalves was critically injured in an officer-involved moped crash. The details surrounding the incident remain under investigation at this time.
For bystanders like Quattrini, large groups like the one she encountered need to be controlled.
“Motocross bikes weaving in and out of traffic, weaving in and out of people, doing wheelies, screaming, and now terrorizing people too, it’s not acceptable,” she said.
Police in Providence do have a pursuit policy when it comes to ATVs, dirt bikes and other off-road vehicles, though it is only implemented when it’s safe to do so.