CLEVELAND — A 30-year-old man on a dirt bike was sent to the hospital after colliding with a truck in Cleveland this weekend, highlighting a recurring issue in the Cleveland area.
Once again, dirt bikes took over the roads of Cleveland this weekend, and police were unable to stop them.
Several videos on social media showed just how many dirt bikes and ATVs were out riding around on city streets, which were estimated to be nearly 100 at times. The ATVs and dirt bikes were seen in Euclid and Cleveland. Several people were even seen riding on the sidewalks on Baltic Road between Clifton Boulevard and West Boulevard in the Edgewater area.
Several people are even seen riding on the sidewalks on Baltic Road between Clifton Boulevard and West Boulevard in the Edgewater area.
According to Cleveland police, one dirt bike rider was injured following a crash involving the driver of a pickup truck near Euclid and Burgess avenues. Following the accident, police said a group of the injured man’s fellow riders tracked down the pickup truck driver and assaulted him. Both men remain hospitalized.
Additionally, a Bureau of Traffic supervisor was assaulted by an ATV operator while trying to make an arrest on Sunday, police said. The suspect, like many of the other dirt bike riders, was wearing a mask, police said.
Through August 2, there have been a total of 582 calls for service related to dirt bikes, according to police records. Those calls spanned each of the city’s corners.
Cleveland police confirmed they received 44 total calls for service involving dirt bikes Sunday, most between 4 p.m and 8 p.m. Police provided a map showing where these calls were placed:
This isn't the first time — exactly one year ago, dozens of dirt bikes and ATVs took over the streets of Lakewood and Cleveland. One man was injured after falling off his dirt bike.
This issue is one that Mayor Frank Jackson has tried to tackle the last few years, even proposing to build a dirt bike track in the city to give riders a safe place to go that isn’t the streets of Cleveland. After previously shelving the project in 2017, Mayor Jackson’s administration appears interested in re-booting the proposal. Earlier this summer, the city issued a request for proposals from interested consultants that would be tasked with selecting a site for the track, as well as develop programming and operational guidelines.
A consultant will be selected in September, according to city records.
One rider on Sunday evening contended that the group wasn’t riding recklessly. Instead, Deangelo Cunningham said they were riding in the streets as part of a movement called, ‘Guns Down, Wheels Up.” The movement is designed to reduce violence amongst different groups in the city that have often been at odds with one another.
“When we come together, any things that we had in the past, or anything that might be going on, we come together, that’s dead, it’s all squashed,” said rider Deangelo Cunningham. “So when we ride, it’s like us having a good time together.”
This weekend, there’s an event scheduled at the Cleveland Muni Lot geared towards dirt bike riders and teaching safety. Several of these events have been held this summer and last.