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Councilwoman Organizes Biker Sting Operation

 The city is done with the biker and ATV antics. Following last week’s report about a Rockaway man being assaulted in his car, allegedly by a group of the bikers on July 10, Councilwoman Joann Ariola put her foot down. The councilwoman worked with several city agencies to come up with a plan to stop the rowdy motorcade that was starting to become a weekly routine.

Anticipating the motorcade of hundreds of dirt bikers and ATV riders to come through Rockaway on Sunday, July 17, as they’ve done for the past two Sundays, a multiple-agency effort was set up ahead of both bridges to try to trap and confiscate them.

Ariola organized a joint campaign with the 100th, 102nd, and 106th Precincts, as well as the Mayor’s Office, the Department of Sanitation, National Parks Service, Queens District Attorney, the Police Commissioner’s office, and Patrol Borough Queens South to bring a stop to the dangerous motorcades once and for all.

“We’ve seen large groups of people on dirt bikes, ATVs and motorcycles pouring through our neighborhoods for weeks, and today’s police action sent a clear message that this will not be tolerated,” the Councilwoman said. “Having groups of bikers numbering in the hundreds, disobeying the law, and in some cases even assaulting and injuring our residents is yet another symptom of the lawlessness that has taken over this city. That ends today.”

Sunday’s mobilization was the largest action ever undertaken by the NYPD in response to these marauding groups. One large group of NYPD officers, as well as DSNY trucks, set up camp near the Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge late afternoon and into the evening, while others say U.S. Park Police and State Troopers were spotted on the Brooklyn side near Aviator, ahead of the Marine Parkway Bridge, where the bikers have entered previously. Some were caught on the Queens side on Sunday evening.

It is not clear how many vehicles were trapped on Sunday. At the very least, the set up seemed to serve as a deterrent for the bikers who were spotted on Woodhaven Boulevard earlier in the day. The Rockaway Times reached out to the DCPI, the NYPD’s press office for exact numbers from Sunday, but we were given a more general response. “The NYPD is aggressively pursuing every method to rid our streets of illegal dirt bikes and ATV’s. The end result must ensure the safety of our citizens while ridding our streets of this menace,” a spokesperson said. To date, the NYPD said they have seized 1,921 of these illegal bikes and ATVs, an increase from 1,022 in 2021. In a social media post relating to the sting, the 100th Precinct shared a photo of five dirt bikes. It is unclear if these bikes were confiscated on Sunday.

According to Ariola, “the operation is expected to continue until the bikers are apprehended and the danger they present to the people of New York is finally ended.”

 Photo from Counciwoman Ariola’s office.

By Katie McFadden

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