NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New Yorkers say they’re tired of seeing ATVs and dirt bikes on the city streets.
Frustrated neighbors in Astoria say it is now happening in their park, where they come to exercise and relax.
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“They go up and down the grass. It’s just dangerous for everyone, ”Cristina Guarino told CBS2’s Cory James.
She’s had enough of the illegal activity that invades the walking trails and the grass. She recorded a video of herself confronting the runners last October, in the hopes that they would stop.
“They started yelling at us, threatening to fight us, threatening to hit us. A few worried pedestrians nearby had called the police because they were getting really aggressive, ”she said.
The assault took place in front of Max Silverstein.
“I saw an elderly woman get run over by an ATV, actually, and the guy just sped off and a whole crowd of people waited for an ambulance to come,” he said. “It’s terrifying because… it can happen to anyone.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio was questioned on Friday about these dangerous rides plaguing parts of New York City.
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“I am really concerned about this and have received regular reports on this issue,” he said. “So I will discuss with the police officials to resolve this problem.”
But the NYPD is limited on what it can do to stop those who operate off-road vehicles on roads and sidewalks.
The ministry’s prosecution policy “requires that the pursuit of a vehicle be discontinued whenever the risk to uniformed members of the service and the public outweighs the danger to the community.”
While some of the bikes are confiscated and taken for scrapping, not all of them become crushed metal, leaving much more out of the way and in the hands of people who harass communities.
“I hope something is done about it because I have heard stories of people leaving the neighborhood because the problem has become so serious … and I would be lying if I said I didn’t think I was doing the same thing, ”Guarino said.
In recent weeks, the NYPD has said it has taken dozens of ATVs and dirt bikes off the streets. The officers even arrested horsemen.
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Police say if you see someone driving the vehicles illegally, contact them immediately.