Springfield, Mass. — Springfield Police Officers under the direction of Lt. Julio Toledo & Lt. Mel Kwatowski with assistance from the Massachusetts State Police Air Wing conducted an anti-dirt bike/off-highway vehicle public safety detail on Thursday. Officers were able to seize two dirt bikes, as well as two motorcycles that were intentionally backfiring creating a sound similar to a gunshot.
One dirt bike rider attempted to run over an officer and struck the officer in the process with his stolen bike. Four individuals were arrested. The Springfield Police Department receives numerous complaints regarding dirt bikes and other off-highway vehicles.
The complaints stem from some dirt bike riders disregarding traffic and creating a public safety hazard that places themselves, other motorists, and pedestrians at risk.
Several incidents have resulted in dirt bike riders purposely damaging vehicles and several riders themselves have been killed or seriously injured in crashes in the past few years. It is illegal to ride a dirt bike or any off-highway vehicle anywhere within the city of Springfield.
On Thursday at approximately 5 pm, the Massachusetts State Police Air Wing alerted officers on the ground of dirt bike riders driving erratically and disregarding traffic signals. While these riders attempted to hide from the aerial surveillance, officers were able to locate them on Roosevelt Avenue.
At this time the riders refused to submit and sped away. One of the riders, David Clark, was located in the woods near St. James Avenue. Mr. Clark then intentionally drove his dirt bike towards an officer on foot in an attempt to run him over. Mr. Clark struck the officer with his dirt bike, but the officer was able to get Mr. Clark off the bike. Mr. Clark continued to resist and was placed under arrest.
The dirt bike Mr. Clark was on was reported stolen out of Connecticut.