Wary police officers have stopped chasing after speed demons on illegal dirt bikes because cops are worried they’ll accidentally kill the riders, sources said.
Officers have backed off ever since a cop accidentally ran down and killed biker Eddie Fernandez while he was fleeing police in The Bronx in August 2012, the sources said.
Police will still pursue perps who commit crimes and try to flee on dirt bikes, the sources said.
But many officers have decided it’s not worth chasing after riders just because they’re on an illegal bike.
Beat cops explained that their patrol cars just can’t keep up with the dirt bikes and their riders — sometimes traveling in huge packs — who drive the wrong way on streets, dangerously pop wheelies, and zip onto sidewalks and into parks and alleyways while trying to elude police.
“It was difficult before, but since [the death], it’s even more difficult,” one police source told The Post.
“No one wants to kill them. They don’t deserve to die.”
Another police source said, “Some of them look for cops because they want to be chased. For a lot of these guys, it’s part of the fun.”
But the bikers aren’t getting a free ride. The police said they’re developing newer and safer ways to catch them.
“We’re working on ways to stop them while making sure no one gets hurt,” one source told The Post.
Some cops want the department to offer rewards to tipsters who can say where the illegal bikes are stored so police can seize them.
Although the NYPD doesn’t keep stats on annual bike seizures, the department’s property clerk is currently storing 332 illegal off-road vehicles that have been removed from the streets. That includes 283 impounded dirt bikes and another 49 seized quads and three-wheelers.
Republished with permission of The New York Post