ATV rider stunts pose summer danger on crowded streets (Video)

WASHINGTON — A new Instagram video of an ATV rider, performing dangerous stunts on Pennsylvania Avenue in District Heights, Maryland, and seemingly taunting a nearby police officer, serves as a vivid reminder of an ongoing danger for local drivers.

Posted over the weekend, the video shows a male rider on the four-wheel vehicle popping wheelies, cutting off a Prince George’s County police cruiser and zooming into Pennsylvania Avenue traffic near Parkland Drive.

Urged on by the person recording the video, the rider takes his hands off the handlebars several times.

“We did not pursue in this case as the crimes committed do not warrant pursuit according to our departmental policy,” said police spokesman Officer Tyler Hunter. The department’s “no chase” policy in regards to ATVs and dirt bikes is consistent with most departments in the region.

Hunter said the department is aware of the video and investigating, but have not identified a suspect.

“The driver’s brazen and careless behavior has no place on our roadways,” said Hunter. “These drivers need to understand driving in this fashion could lead to injury of another driver or themselves.”

In April, D.C., Maryland and Virginia police departments announced a joint crackdown, releasing photographs of 245 people caught on camera dangerously riding ATVs and dirt bikes.

The white and blue ATV in the recent Pennsylvania Avenue video is seen in the joint crackdown images from a Jan. 31 ride. It is unclear whether the male rider in the police document — identified as Subject 97 — is the same person performing on the Instagram video.

D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier has said police pursuits would likely lead to the ATV riders going up on sidewalks, increasing danger to pedestrians.

Police hope to seize and destroy vehicles that are being ridden illegally.

Watch the video, posted by Instagram @KTMP28.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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