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Arrests made in operation targeting dangerous bike groups

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CMPD
Officers seized four bicycles and one dirt bike from the operation.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department announced the results of an operation targeting groups of individuals behaving erratically on bicycles and motorized vehicles on Monday.

Richard Flood, 22, who has multiple pending felonies including hitting a pedestrian with his dirt bike causing a serious brain injury and fleeing the scene, was charged with reckless driving.

A 15-year-old was arrested Sunday for reckless driving for a third time — and for the second time in the last two weeks, police said.

Another juvenile rider’s charges were diverted through the CMPD’s Juvenile Youth Diversion Program.

Officers seized four bicycles and one dirt bike during the operation and issued four additional citations for reckless driving.

Police say these groups of bikers participate in organized rides with dozens of participants at a time.

According to the CMPD, they travel in packs, taking up multiple lanes of traffic, and are observed doing wheelies, failing to obey traffic lights, riding the wrong way in traffic, playing chicken with motorists, and numerous other traffic violations. While most cases occur in uptown, similar incidents have been reported across Charlotte.

On July 31, officers in the Central Division Patrol and Crime Reduction Unit, along with Dual Sport officers from multiple divisions, the Real Time Crime Center and the Aviation Unit took part in a proactive patrol to confront serial offenders.

Officers said they witnessed a large group riding recklessly out of Camp North End into uptown committing numerous traffic violations.

The CMPD said the actions of this group have gone beyond reckless driving. Riders have committed violent acts including assault, armed robbery, shooting into occupied property, and assault with a deadly weapon.

Several cases from this year:

  • On April 17, officers obtained cellphone video from a witness, showing an apparent fistfight between the victim and several suspects. Two of the suspects were armed. One of the suspects hit the victim in the back of the head and fired shots into the victim’s vehicle, hitting him in the spine and likely leaving him paralyzed, police said.

Officers tracked down a juvenile who was with the suspects during the shooting. After an interview, officers were able to identify the suspects' social media profiles. Over the following days, officers tracked down the two teens who were armed during the attack.

  • On April 20, Central Division officers observed four juveniles riding scooters the wrong way, swerving in and out of traffic in the 200 block of North Tryon St. Officers quickly arrested all four juveniles and charged them with reckless driving. One of the suspects was also charged with assault by pointing a firearm because police say he pointing a realistic-looking airsoft gun at a driver. Four parents of those juveniles were also cited for contributing to delinquency and neglect, according to police.
  • On March 31, a juvenile on a bicycle swerved in front of a victim’s car on Parkwood Avenue, causing the car to clip the back tire of the bicycle. The victim got out of his car to check on the suspect. Four juveniles assaulted the man and took his wallet, keys and phone. The juveniles also stole the man's car, which was tracked down by license-plate reader technology. The car crashed on Lee Drive, and the four juveniles ran. They were caught by police, the department said.

The CMPD is requesting the public’s help in reporting public safety issues. If you see these groups driving recklessly and behaving erratically, the CMPD asks that you call 911 and do not approach.

Tips can be reported anonymously to Charlotte Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

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