Marauding ATV drivers — about a dozen of them — were terrorizing the streets of Providence, R.I., Wednesday night, police said. Until a potted plant stepped in.
The 10 to 15 drivers riding recreational vehicles were illegally on city streets, weaving in and out of traffic, speeding and moving recklessly, police said. They forced cars to stop abruptly. They blew through red lights, leaving police in the dust.
One of the ATV drivers, 25-year-old Ruddy Rodriguez, even pulled up right next to the officers out patrolling just after 5:30 p.m. and laughed at them, police said.
“You’ll never catch me or stop me!” Rodriguez shouted, according to police. But that’s where Rodriguez was wrong, police said.
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After Rodriguez sped away from the police he had just taunted, he flew through a red light and drove onto the sidewalk, forcing pedestrians in his path to flee, police said.
He must not have seen this coming, though: There was a large, cement potted plant sitting on the sidewalk he was driving on — and Rodriguez crashed right into it, police said, before also hitting a large traffic control box.
The collision ended his joyride right in front of Venda Ravioli Restaurant, according to police.
Rodriguez was then taken into custody on suspicion of reckless driving, eluding an officer, and two counts of malicious mischief or property damage, police said.
Drivers illegally roaming the streets and sidewalks on ATVs have been a growing problem in Providence, WJAR reports. Police have promised to take and destroy any any ATVs or dirt bikes they come across in the city’s streets or parks.
Mayor Jorge Elorza told the TV station that the off-road vehicles being used in the city are “jeopardizing safety for kids and families in our neighborhood.”