Police Pursuit of ATVs, Dirt Bikes Raises Community Concerns

Dozens of people on dirt bikes and ATVs led police from Maryland into D.C. Saturday, and the pursuit raised concerns in the community.

Video shows Prince George’s County police following the ATVs and dirt bikes along Southern Avenue in Southeast D.C.

Police said officers were trying to monitor the group, but at one point an officer activated the lights of a cruiser and briefly accelerated after one dirt bike. The cruiser mowed down a chain link fence of a business and narrowly avoided hitting a parked car.

“Turning policing into a reckless sport in itself is not going to stop ATV and dirt bike riders on our road,” Ward 7 ANC Commissioner Anthony Lorenzo Green said.

While riding the ATVs and bikes on public roads is illegal, Prince George’s County police said chasing them is against department policy unless they are presenting a danger to the public.

“When you have another police department coming into our neighborhood doing something we would not expect for MPD to do, it's a problem,” Green said.

He said Maryland police chases over the border are far too common.

“It's been a major concern for my neighbors because we've had a lot of cars been damaged, a lot of front yard fences been destroyed, and there have been folks who are concerned about their children walking down Sheriff Road,” he said.

Prince George's County police released a statement that reads, in part, “It is not PGPD policy to meet reckless behavior with reckless behavior.”

The chase violated department policy, police said. Police have not said what is going to happen to the officers involved.

Contact Us