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Bye, Bye Bike Bandits: Staten Island Police Track Down Cycling Daredevils

bikingA full third of all Americans ride a bike for recreation. Well, for some Staten Island teenagers, the word “recreation” was taken a little too seriously.

For the past few weeks, a group of teenagers has gained notoriety on social media for doing insane tricks on their bikes. The problem? They’re doing them in the middle of oncoming traffic, posing a huge risk to both themselves and drivers everywhere.

While popping wheelies and spinning around, the teens repeatedly blocked multiple lanes of traffic along with the special bus lane and commuter section of the road. Many drivers have reported seeing them heading right into oncoming traffic in an attempt to scare and distract drivers.

At the same time the bicycle bandits were posting videos of their bike tricks online, angry drivers were turning to social media to demand action from the police. Numerous comments were posted on Twitter, the police’s Facebook feed, and even on local newspaper outlets going after the kids for their reckless behavior and lack of concerns for others.

Some drivers were incredibly mad, posting comments such as:

“Great Job, now if you can catch all those reckless fools it would make it better!! They were out at 11:30pm last nite riding foolishly and yelling on my block and along Leverett Ave….I’ve had personal encounters with them and this isn’t anything new…from last summer on this has been going on, extremely unsafe the way they challenge drivers and try to go into the cars too…PLEASE GET THEM ALL!”

Others were a little bit more diplomatic about the situation:

“I find it dangerous for the kids, and also for myself, because God forbid you hit one of them,” Staten Island resident Christina Nocerino said. “They don’t even look, they just come out and do purposely, they ride in groups and packs, pop wheelies in front of cars as cars are driving down the road.”

Luckily for drivers, the police 122nd precinct caught wind of the situation. They were able to track down the bike bandits, arrest them, and confiscated their bikes all before anyone was injured.

The best part? The bandits finally got the social media attention they deserve — the officers uploaded pictures of the detained bikes on their Twitter page.

Until next time, bike bandits.