WASHINGTON — It’s been an ongoing problem from Baltimore to D.C. — motorcycle packs that flout traffic laws, popping wheelies, burning rubber and driving the wrong way on the Beltway. But their antics Sunday afternoon on the Beltway in Prince George’s County reached a new level of audacity.
They heckled an off-duty Maryland State trooper.
“The trooper was driving on the outer loop in a marked state police vehicle when he was surrounded by 50 to 100 motorcycles and dirt bikes. They surrounded his vehicle and slowed their speed requiring, obviously, the trooper to slow down to avoid hitting any of them,” said Greg Shipley, a spokesman with Maryland State Police.
The trooper was among many drivers on the Beltway who encountered the motorcycle pack. State police received numerous phone calls Sunday from drivers complaining about reckless operations by motorcycles on Interstates 95 and 495.
“It was certainly a dangerous situation out there caused by these individuals,” Shipley said.
The trooper radioed for help. Responding troopers from the Forestville and College Park barracks pursued the bikers, some of whom rode the wrong way on the Beltway to evade police. All of them got away.
“They disappeared very quickly,” Shipley said. “They either had no tags on the motorcycles or had them tucked up so they weren’t visible.”
Police face a difficult challenge pursuing the bikers who can accelerate rapidly, reach extremely high speeds and, in some cases, ride with abandon.
“There’s a significant risk not only to the violator but also to other people on the highway,” Shipley said.
Because of the dangers of high speed pursuit, D.C. police have a “no chase” policy when it comes to the bikers.
Shipley said state police are working with local police and have initiatives underway, which he wouldn’t publicly identify, aimed at identifying and apprehending the bikers.
WTOP’s Dave Dildine contributed to this report.
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