More than 100 dirt bikes, ATVs flood Cleveland streets and create chaos

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CLEVELAND- More than a hundred dirt bikes and ATVs flooded the streets over the weekend, creating chaos and mayhem all over Cleveland.

Police say an officer was assaulted while trying to make an arrest, and a driver was beaten after striking one of the off-road vehicles.

Police have not made any arrests. They say they received 44 calls from people about the illegal street riding.

"There were bikes doing wheelies, four wheelers doing wheelies, cars driving on the yards. It was insane; it was four and a half minutes of insanity," said one witness, who did not want to be identified.

Surveillance video from his home on West Boulevard in Cleveland showed hundreds of ATVs, dirt bikes and other vehicles flooding streets on the west side Sunday evening.

"They kept coming and coming and coming and coming; people are driving on the lawns and they're just everywhere," he said.

"It was just mass insanity at the moment that they started coming through and then it seemed like that they were just parked for awhile, revving their engines and what not," said resident Erik Todd Coleman.

Cleveland police say around 5:40 p.m., a 30-year-old man was on a dirt bike travelling on Euclid Avenue at Burgess Road.

They say a 72-year-old man driving a white Ford F-150 struck him and dragged him and the bike several hundred feet.

Investigators say members of the group tracked down and assaulted the pickup truck driver; both he and the dirt bike rider were sent to the hospital.

Onlookers dialed 911.

"People got this guy pulled over; you need a police officer because these people are holding this guy," one caller told a dispatcher.

Cleveland police also say at East 55th and St. Clair, a motorcycle officer was assaulted while he was trying to arrest a person on one of those dirt bikes.

"There was a lot of people who were pulled over filming, so it seemed everybody who was around at the time didn't have a problem with it; nobody was honking at them," said witness Courtney Paid.

Paid says she found the group fascinating as they rode through downtown. Others were not so amused.

"It just seemed like you were endangering both traffic that was going by as they were darting in and out of the street, as well as themselves; you want them to enjoy what they have, but certainly in a space that's designated for that," said Coleman.

Police say most of the riders, including the one who assaulted the officer, were wearing masks. Cleveland police encourage anyone who sees ATVs and dirt bikes operating illegally in the city to call them.

In the past, Mayor Frank Jackson has proposed building a dirt bike track to give dirt bike and ATV operators a place to legally ride, but those plans fell through due to problems with the site.

Coincidentally, there is a legal competitive dirt bike event scheduled this weekend to take place in the Cleveland Municipal Parking Lot downtown.

Continuing coverage.

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