ATV rider in 'Bikes Up, Guns Down' rally caught by the cops
When Hollywood police announced Erik Bell’s arrest Monday, they wanted to make clear they’re in no mood for any ATV, dirt bike or car foolishness during this year’s Martin Luther King holiday weekend.
Bell got busted and busted up Sunday afternoon. Cops did the busting. The busting up, Bell did to himself when he crashed his four-wheeler into a car while trying to elude police.
The police say Bell was around the intersection of Northwest 64th Avenue and Johnson Street in Hollywood, part of more than 100 ATV and dirt bike riders roaring around the area. When the cops showed up, “a majority of the riders fled southbound on (U.S.) 441.”
Bell’s escape ended with the crash. Police said they found a loaded gun on the 33-year-old Miramar resident after the crash. As of Monday evening, Bell remained in Broward County Jail on charges of committing a third-degree felony while in possession of a weapon; fleeing and eluding law enforcement at high speeds; reckless driving; and failure to register a motor vehicle. His bond is $4,125.
Miami-Dade police and Florida Highway Patrol, which had to deal with ATV and reckless driving fatalities last year, did a presentation on ATV and motorcycle safety Monday. Hollywood police reminded people on Monday that the upcoming Martin Luther King holiday weekend, and the “Bikes Up, Guns Down” rides are not a license for speeding, reckless driving or using ATVs on the street.
Last Jan. 16, Wilfredo Garcia’s speeding U-turn through construction barriers on his ATV sparked a pursuit by Hollywood police. Garcia, from Brooklyn, buzzed away from police, taunted them, and then posted a video of the chase on Instagram.
The video acted as a GPS for finding Garcia. NYPD picked him up for Broward on Jan. 25. He pleaded no contest to aggravated fleeing and eluding at high speeds, served 86 days in jail and still owes Broward County $967 in fines.
Garcia was the most public of the 10 reckless drivers arrested last year by Hollywood police during the weekend. They towed 20 vehicles.
A statement from acting Hollywood Police Chief Chris O’Brien read, in part, “Leave the bikes off the road. When you drive your illegal vehicle on city streets, you are endangering not only yourself but those around you. Don’t put innocent lives in jeopardy.”