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WATCH: More Than 100 Dirt Bikes Rip Through Astoria Park Sunday Forcing Kids to Flee for Safety

Some of the riders on dirt bikes that rode through Astoria Park Sunday (Screenshot)

May 4, 2021 By Michael Dorgan

Dozens of illegal riders on dirt bikes and ATVs ripped through Astoria Park Sunday pulling wheelies, revving engines and sending dust flying – before eventually being chased out of the park by police.

The unruly sight, which left park-goers angered – and others covered in dust – occurred at around 6 p.m. at the southern end of the park where families were soaking up the evening sunlight and skateboarders were riding the ramps of the skate park.

A long stream of raucous bikers were seen traveling southbound along a pathway inside Astoria Park before descending on the skate park that was full of young children who were forced to flee for safety, video footage obtained by the Queens Post shows.

One biker pulled a “doughnut” just before entering the skate park which showered people in dust, according to Ben Kennedy, a skateboarder who witnessed the disruptive scene.

“It was a complete dust storm for a couple of minutes,” said Kennedy, who estimated that the group consisted of more than 100 vehicles.

The bikers essentially forced the pedestrians off the pathway and one mother pushing her child in a baby stroller could be seen waiting for the dangerous activity to subside before accessing the walkway, the footage reveals.

The bikers, Kennedy said, then essentially took over the skate park by driving around the concrete purpose-built area leaving irate skateboarders with no choice but to leave or else face being run down. Many of the bikers were not wearing helmets.

Around 10 cops showed up a few minutes later and chased the bikers away, Kennedy said. He said the police confiscated two dirt bikes at the scene after some riders decided to drop their vehicles in order to evade the cops on foot.

“It actually became even more dangerous when the cops attempted to apprehend the bikers because they started to scramble away at speed,” Kennedy said about the hectic episode.

It is unclear if any arrests were made. A police spokesperson did not have any information pertaining to the ugly incident when called for comment.

Kennedy said that bikers have been driving recklessly in groups at the park since the weather began to heat up this year.

“It wasn’t a surprise to see them and everyone is mystified as to why they are not being stopped,” he said. “It’s not safe.”

Other residents said that the illegal activity has been taking place at the park since last year.

Three cops standing next to a confiscated dirt bike at Astoria Park Sunday (Photo by Ben Kennedy)

CB1 District Manager Florence Koulouris said that the board received a complaint about the lawless group on Monday and she urged residents to file complaints with 311, then follow up with CB1 with a 311 reference number.

A mother pushing her child in a stroller was prevented from accessing the path because of the bikes. The stream of bikers can be seen in the background heading down the pathway (Screenshot)

“CB1 is an intermediary between residents and the city,” Koulouris said. “We need residents to be the eyes and ears of the community. If you see something say something and we can follow up with the NYC Parks Dept. and the police to make sure people are taking action.”

A spokesperson for NYC Parks said the department is aware of Sunday’s incident and is taking measures to stop it from reoccurring.

“We are currently exploring options to deter the use of illegal dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles in parks across the city,” said Charisse Hill, a spokesperson for NYC Parks.

Hill, however, did not specifically address solutions for Astoria Park and was referring to parks citywide.

“We have assigned additional Parks Enforcement Patrol Officers (PEP) to help educate visitors about park rules [across NYC] and take enforcement action, if necessary.”

 

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20 Comments

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Will

This is becoming a huge problem in Astoria. These idiots do wheelies down Ditmars Blvd, running stop signs and red lights.

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COCED

In a little while there will be calls for police not to pursue the underprivileged bike riders, ’cause “it’s even more dangerous to try to catch ’em”
Lawlessness is encouraged at every level in the city now, and it will be very hard to come back to normalcy. You’ll need another Rudy to do that and they are hard to come by.

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Chad Smith

Ok..ok. All I see is a bunch of kids having fun on there bikes. I don’t see anything dangerous. The park is for everyone!! And cops should never chase them…. what a dangerous situation that makes!!

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Junk Yorker

I saw a few motorbikes without plates riding on the paths today just like I see everyday in the park. This is not news at all. What is the city going to do about these mostly minority riders? Does someone has to get hit by them and die to enforce the law to stop them? That would be the news for us taking our families to outside.

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Harry Bingham IV

So wait… the cop-hating, AOC-lovin’ commies called the POLICE to save them from a ghetto-boys dirt bike swarm?

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Lanza Disciple

More reasons to vote for or against the District 22 and everyone on ballot on June 22.

Nothing will change with Bill Blah blah blah. Replace Captain Jenkins at the 114.

This precinct is the Loosers of the Streetblog award for worst illegal parking and placard abuse in the city. The entire city.

Get a voice in place and start making making city we pay for to work for and with us.

https://nyc.streetsblog.org/2021/04/19/march-parking-madness-stunner-capt-jenkins-at-the-114-pct-wont-accept-winners-losers-trophy/

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Anon

They’re mystified as to why they’re not being stopped. Really, is anybody really mystified?

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Pat Macnamara

As the stroller moms and others flee and hide in terror they need to realize that this act of indifference is the direct result of Democrats soft-on-crime policies. By releasing criminals from jail hours from the time they were arrested they are empowered to commit more crime. Any comment from AOC who peddled her green deal yards away from this incident? keep voting Democrat-a criminal’s best friend!

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Joseph Susol

What’s wrong with calling 911 instead of 311. Behavior that endangers public safety that can cause harm to innocent people seems like an EMERGENCY to me.

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Sara Ross

Anybody that endangers the life of children, should be locked up forever and their vehicles destroyed. I wish the drivers of the fart cars that speed around my neighborhood and even go through steady red lights would have that happen to them.

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Anonymous

I was in the parking Sunday till 4pm. 2 knuckleheads we’re on their unlicensed dirt bikes popping wheelies in the parking lot right in front a parked police vehicle. They did nothing. They are powerless against this nonsense because of the current climate. The parking lot is a weed fest and a problem waiting to happen. I’ve been almost run over a bunch of times. This bothers me cause it’s not a new problem. Just finally being brought to the table.

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Frances Michaels

THESE SAVAGES COME FROM PROJECTS !! THEY ARE ALL OVER THE CITY !! THEY GO INTO NEIGHBORHOODS TO CREATE HAVOC !!!! BLAME DeBLASIO & CUOMO !!! Keep voting Democrats….this is your future !!

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John

I love across from the northern end of the park. I’ve seen it before but not in those number. Time for the cops to make arrests, otherwise it’ll only get worse. No consequences, no incentive to stop.

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1nvrnose

I have seen this on the Van Wyck Expressway by Flushing Meadows Park and just last week on The Whitestone Bridge. Welcome to the Wild Wild West aka NYC under DeBlasio, the City Council and the NYS Legislature.

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John Q Citizen astoria resident

very saddened that lawlessness endangering the lives of children and families in city parks. who is buying these bikes and quads which are not street legal?? I would be doubtful that any are legally registered or have licensed drivers or insurance?? Police are not allowed to chase and they know it. Parks need to put some sort of barriers or fencing which make it difficult to navigate. These bikes used to just stay on street now they have to abuse innocent people. Where are the politicians who should be outraged!!!

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Ian O’Malley

Just another symptom of the lawlessness and disorder facilitated by the “defund the police” hordes and the craven politicians who cow to them.

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Brazil 🇧🇷

NYC is becoming a big ghetto. Those bikers will soon start mugging people if the City doesn’t let the police do their job. Learn from South American countries’ experience.

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