Four days after a Washington Heights resident published video of dirt bikers and ATV riders doing stunts outside a funeral home on upper Broadway, the NYPD is seeking the public for help in tracking down the individuals involved. The "marauding motorcyclists," as one local Web Site described them, stopped traffic on Broadway around 4 p.m. Sunday outside the R.G. Ortiz Funeral home on 4425 Broadway. Here's video that one fed-up resident captured:
A worker at the funeral home told us that the bikers were performing the stunts in memory of a fellow club member who died. But the local resident who took the video wasn't moved, writing:
A motorcycle gang closes Broadway and intimidates the public on January 12, 2014, just two blocks from the police station house, and in the same precinct where last summer, another motorcycle gang chased and savagely attacked a family that refused to submit to their intimidation.
Motorcycle gangs roam freely in upper Manhattan, particularly in Washington Heights, where the local police are unwilling or unable to intervene. The gangs close avenues and highways for long periods of time, setting off fireworks, damaging property (see 1:15), driving on the sidewalks, and attacking anyone who dares defy them.
In this occasion the mayhem went on for about 20~25 minutes, but unfortunately my recorder ran out of space and only captured about two minutes of it. After the recording stopped there was a second crash of a motorcycle, against the white car parked in front of the bus. The gang returned about an hour later for a few more minutes of the same, and then returned a third time around 8:30 PM to set off fireworks and car alarms, for about five minutes.
The police usually show up long after everyone has left, and leave shortly after without making any report, since that helps keep crime statistics low, and there is no possible retribution for their inaction. Bloomberg was mostly uninterested on the less-affluent parts of NYC; hopefully Mayor de Blasio will be more willing to look into what goes on beyond Park Ave.
The NYPD wants to charge the participants with Reckless Endangerment. According to the NYPD, "The suspects shut down north and south bound traffic lanes on Broadway by operating their motorcycles and ATV'S [sic] in a reckless manner which caused the risk of serious physical injury to on-lookers, pedestrians, and motorists."
The stunts were performed in the same neighborhood where bikers dragged an SUV driver out of his car last September and brutally beat him in front of his wife and child, as multiple off-duty NYPD officers allegedly stood by and did nothing.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.