Dirtbikers and bats

Forums:

Saw a couple of the usual neighborhood dirtbikers try to assault a driver near Hackett today (with bats) after they must have nearly hit him while he was driving down Hagert. He stopped and got out to yell at them, and they ran back to their place to grab bats—the last I saw of them they were headed his way down the block. I had to get to work, so I didn't stick around, but called 911 to report the incident. Anyone hear anything about this? I wasn't the only one to see it happen—it was recess and the crossing guards were out on the corner.

codergrrl's picture

Where was 'their place", where they went for the bats?

"Je Suis Prest"

austen's picture

Let me guess - 2400 block of Sepviva?

bozoloper's picture

austen wrote:
Let me guess - 2400 block of Sepviva?

that sounds about right.

there's a fool on every corner when you're trying to get home.

codergrrl's picture

Oh, known doers.

"Je Suis Prest"

Merle Hagert's picture

Not sure if they both live there, but at least one of them lives halfway up the block on Hagert across from the school. I've heard the owner of the dirtbike lives up Sepviva (possibly 2400 block), but not sure. I've seen both riding it, however, usually up/down Sepviva and on the school playground. The dirtbikes are annoying and all, but definitely have no place on streets adjacent to a playground full of kids during recess. Oh well.

bozoloper's picture

that sounds like the same people that the neighbor complained to the landlord about.

there's a fool on every corner when you're trying to get home.

codergrrl's picture

Another 'nuisance house'.
I miss the days when you could just slip some thug fifty bucks to teach people lessons.

"Je Suis Prest"

Leo's picture

Dear Dirtbikers:

Two points-

1) A car weighs a lot more than you and your stupid dirtbike does. In the event of a collision, your dirtbike becomes scrap, and you become dead. Though you probably weren't paying attention during that day in physics class.

2) Using a baseball bat to attack someone is considered deadly force. In Pennsylvania, this means you've invited that person to defend himself with deadly force against you, unless that person KNOWS he can retreat safely. Though you probably weren't paying attention that day in school either.

Mulvihill & Rushie LLC
The Fishtown Lawyers
Criminal Defense • Civil Trials
www.FishtownLaw.com
215.385.5291

sandi

We are fairly certain that my husband's car was broken into by one kid on a red and white dirt bike followed by a dark green mercury sedan on Saturday evening!

"If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, the excitement, and the mystery of the world we live in." --Rachel Carlson

Merle Hagert's picture

This vehicle definitely fits that description—probably an 80 or 125cc, red and white.

stein's picture

Leo wrote:
Though you probably weren't paying attention during that day in physics class.

I know that I didn't go to the greatest public high school in PA, but physics was a science class that a large majority of students never had to take.

Ken Milano (before he went and edited this comment out to avoid the consequences of having wrote it) wrote:
I don’t have much sympathy for renters, for me, they are non citizens

meredith's picture

stein wrote:
Leo wrote:
Though you probably weren't paying attention during that day in physics class.

I know that I didn't go to the greatest public high school in PA, but physics was a science class that a large majority of students never had to take.

yeah, i never took physics (though i went to public school in jersey). i chose AP chem, although i didn't do too great in that and probably should have opted to take physics instead.

“Try to learn to let what is unfair teach you.” – David Foster Wallace

austen's picture

I learned more in my senior year AP Physics about chemistry than I did in honors chemistry in 10th grade.

Leo's picture

Didn't you have Bill Nye the Science Guy at least? Heck, even Mythbusters counts for a simple explanation.

Heavy Object Moving at X Speed v. Lighter Object Moving at X Speed = Bad day for lighter object (scientifically known as "Splat").

Mulvihill & Rushie LLC
The Fishtown Lawyers
Criminal Defense • Civil Trials
www.FishtownLaw.com
215.385.5291

Leo's picture

Merle Hagert wrote:
This vehicle definitely fits that description—probably an 80 or 125cc, red and white.

This calls for tactical deployment of spike strips.

Mulvihill & Rushie LLC
The Fishtown Lawyers
Criminal Defense • Civil Trials
www.FishtownLaw.com
215.385.5291

meredith's picture

Leo wrote:
Didn't you have Bill Nye the Science Guy at least? Heck, even Mythbusters counts for a simple explanation.

Heavy Object Moving at X Speed v. Lighter Object Moving at X Speed = Bad day for lighter object (scientifically known as "Splat").

ha... yes, i understand the basics of physics, but thank you for the simplistic explanation.

“Try to learn to let what is unfair teach you.” – David Foster Wallace

Pure_Fishtown's picture

Leo, you've always seemed like a mild-manner guy but now you're starting to scare me.

FREE Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

Leo's picture

meredith wrote:
Leo wrote:
Didn't you have Bill Nye the Science Guy at least? Heck, even Mythbusters counts for a simple explanation.

Heavy Object Moving at X Speed v. Lighter Object Moving at X Speed = Bad day for lighter object (scientifically known as "Splat").

ha... yes, i understand the basics of physics, but thank you for the simplistic explanation.

My apologies, I didn't mean for this to sound so mean. Should have used sarcasm font.

Pure_Fishtown wrote:
Leo, you've always seemed like a mild-manner guy but now you're starting to scare me.

I'm like Superman.

I assume the mild mannered identity of local Fishtown resident Leo Mulvihill, but when there's trouble - out on the streets - it's a nerd - it's a pain - No, it's the Fishtown Lawyer! :D

Mulvihill & Rushie LLC
The Fishtown Lawyers
Criminal Defense • Civil Trials
www.FishtownLaw.com
215.385.5291

c0llins's picture

My next door neighbor's family member comes charging by all the time on his ATV, primarily on the weekends, along with his buddies. They fly through the stop signs up and down one way streets doing wheelies with no regard for public saftey and no respect for their neighbors and children they put at risk.

I don't want to hear that "the cops are told not to chase them.". That is the moat absurd thing I've ever heard. It's a relatively small group of men, who break the law on these things every day, making life worse for those of us who WANT a better community and are working hard to try and make this a better community.

Like I just said in the burglary thread, if the police would actually start caring FOR ONCE and actually start enforcing common sense quality of life issues, crime would go down by leaps and bounds. When people think they can get away with everything, they will do ANYTHING.

Wake up officers of the 26th, and make this district somewhere worth living in. If I rented instead of owned, I would have moved to center city a long time ago, and these knuckle head dirt bike riders are a big part of the reason why.

c0llins's picture

I'll repeat myself from the other thread here as well:

We need a police district/department that is PROACTIVE, not reactive. It makes a big difference.

Merle Hagert's picture

I live near the Sepviva/Hagert intersection and have seen a police cruiser drive right on by while said dirtbiker was riding on sidewalks, the street, and the school playground. Missed opportunity, if you ask me.

c0llins's picture

Merle Hagert wrote:
I live near the Sepviva/Hagert intersection and have seen a police cruiser drive right on by while said dirtbiker was riding on sidewalks, the street, and the school playground. Missed opportunity, if you ask me.

My point exactly. This is business as usual for the 26th. It will take someone's child getting killed by one of these things, and even then they will barely do anything at all. The people are getting sick of these atv and dirt bike riders. It is unacceptable!

c0llins's picture

A big reason these thugs have these vehicles is because they ride on all the vacant land behind thriftway. Here's an idea 26th district police, they are TRESPASSING (yes that is law you should enforce. I know that concept is new to you). Get some men together, intercept them on that land, confiscate their illegal vehicles being used on private property, and actually charge them with trespassing. Police work, imagine that!

ExUnit4's picture

Sadly, I agree with Collins. If the 26th has the ability to have special community policing details over on the west side then why can't us tax paying ( not living in tax payer provided PHA housing) residents get the same. Even one Bike detail( a real Motorcycle like the 7th and 8th have) around the school and up/down York to Cumberland / Aramingo to Trenton would help. Not to mention over behind ICS in the sand hills.

Speak softly, the dashboard cam has a very sensative microphone

Kenzo's picture

The ATV protocol with the PPD is citywide. I've seen ATVs on South Broad Street freakin' out pedestrians.

Yeah, it will take a couple of dead pedestrians before the current approach changes. Just like when something bad happens to a Rittenhouse resident, suddenly it's a crisis issue.

On the advice of someone who probably queened-out, this signature has been deleted.

Jay's picture

c0llins wrote:
A big reason these thugs have these vehicles is because they ride on all the vacant land behind thriftway. Here's an idea 26th district police, they are TRESPASSING (yes that is law you should enforce. I know that concept is new to you). Get some men together, intercept them on that land, confiscate their illegal vehicles being used on private property, and actually charge them with trespassing. Police work, imagine that!

Actually that isn't true. I'm annoyed by them too but at the last ORCA meeting there was a Sergeant there (can't remember his name, sorry) that gave a pretty good explanation about what's going on. They're not trespassing unless the owner of the property calls the police and says that he doesn't want them there. And the vehicles aren't illegal unless they're on the street. So, no crime. And he also said that the 26th is reluctant to chase them in the streets because they'll run, and fast. They'd run faster than they would when joy riding which is even more dangerous to kids and such. So while I'm fed up with them too I can't say I see much else that can be done about it. The bat thing is a totally different story though.

jbette01's picture

c0llins wrote:
A big reason these thugs have these vehicles is because they ride on all the vacant land behind thriftway. Here's an idea 26th district police, they are TRESPASSING (yes that is law you should enforce. I know that concept is new to you). Get some men together, intercept them on that land, confiscate their illegal vehicles being used on private property, and actually charge them with trespassing. Police work, imagine that!

So I understand what you are saying perfectly and I agree.

However, after the passing of Shane Kelly, the neighborhood was, ahem, really ticked off. This is one of the issues that was brought up repeatedly at community meetings. Once a year, in the Spring, there is a roundup behind Thriftway. However, it requires a ton of officers and patrol cars, far more than are on duty during any given day.

I truly believe Captain Cram is interested in doing this more often, but he simply doesnt have the power or funding to make it happen by himself.

Please tell your local officials that the city needs more police. We have been told repeatedly that calling, calling, calling 911 and community response are going to help, but I think we would all feel more comfortable with additional badges on the street.

c0llins's picture

There is something to be done. Start working on a plan to stop it, instead of cops moping around saying there is nothing they can do. They obviously need to get there by taking the streets. Ambush them on the streets. If cops start aggressively pursuing them, maybe they will start using a pickup truck or something to take the vehicles to the river. Ignoring the problem completely is irresponsible policing, and just laziness.

codergrrl's picture

It seemed simple to me when I saw them there. (Under the highway by PepBoys.) The vehicles were on the street, or how else did they get there. Go over with a tow truck, and a couple of cruisers blocking the fenced in exits, and start asking for valid ID, license, and insurance info and registration. And put all the ones that don't have it on a flat bed, and drive away with them. They'll impound a car if you don't supply proper documentation,

"Je Suis Prest"

c0llins's picture

codergrrl wrote:
It seemed simple to me when I saw them there. (Under the highway by PepBoys.) The vehicles were on the street, or how else did they get there. Go over with a tow truck, and a couple of cruisers blocking the fenced in exits, and start asking for valid ID, license, and insurance info and registration. And put all the ones that don't have it on a flat bed, and drive away with them. They'll impound a car if you don't supply proper documentation,

Here is an example of proactive policing, instead of telling residents "to keep calling hundreds of times so we know its an issue." That's one of the most absurd things I've ever heard. This plan is pretty simple. How about doing your jobs and trying it 26th!

Merle Hagert's picture

Jay wrote:
Actually that isn't true. I'm annoyed by them too but at the last ORCA meeting there was a Sergeant there (can't remember his name, sorry) that gave a pretty good explanation about what's going on. They're not trespassing unless the owner of the property calls the police and says that he doesn't want them there. And the vehicles aren't illegal unless they're on the street. So, no crime. And he also said that the 26th is reluctant to chase them in the streets because they'll run, and fast. They'd run faster than they would when joy riding which is even more dangerous to kids and such. So while I'm fed up with them too I can't say I see much else that can be done about it. The bat thing is a totally different story though.

What doesn't make sense to me is the same could be said for speeding cars, as police chases are dangerous for everyone. But, speeding cars are also an inherent danger to people as well—as are joyriders on dirtbikes who don't obey even the slightest traffic law (including but not limited to: riding full-speed on sidwalks, failure to obey stop signs/red lights, riding on school property, going the wrong way up a one-way street, etc). I doubt you would ever hear any law enforcement representative say "we just can't cite these speeding cars—it would be too dangerous." I'm actually curious as to what police policy and procedures are for street-legal motorcycles that speed or otherwise disobey traffic laws.

dmandy's picture

I don't know where they were coming from but I did see a police flatbed with 6 or 7 dirtbikes on it. This was on Sunday.

jbette01's picture

Merle Hagert wrote:
Jay wrote:
Actually that isn't true. I'm annoyed by them too but at the last ORCA meeting there was a Sergeant there (can't remember his name, sorry) that gave a pretty good explanation about what's going on. They're not trespassing unless the owner of the property calls the police and says that he doesn't want them there. And the vehicles aren't illegal unless they're on the street. So, no crime. And he also said that the 26th is reluctant to chase them in the streets because they'll run, and fast. They'd run faster than they would when joy riding which is even more dangerous to kids and such. So while I'm fed up with them too I can't say I see much else that can be done about it. The bat thing is a totally different story though.

What doesn't make sense to me is the same could be said for speeding cars, as police chases are dangerous for everyone. But, speeding cars are also an inherent danger to people as well—as are joyriders on dirtbikes who don't obey even the slightest traffic law (including but not limited to: riding full-speed on sidwalks, failure to obey stop signs/red lights, riding on school property, going the wrong way up a one-way street, etc). I doubt you would ever hear any law enforcement representative say "we just can't cite these speeding cars—it would be too dangerous."

I guess I dont understand this comment. How often is there a high speed police chase in Fishtown?
It seems like you make a point to the contrary, that dirt bikes go places cars dont (wrong way down sidewalks, in between pedestrians, through playgrounds (!). There is not much you can say to convince me that a patrol car can follow a weaving ATV without being a substantial safety hazard.

jbette01's picture

c0llins wrote:
codergrrl wrote:
It seemed simple to me when I saw them there. (Under the highway by PepBoys.) The vehicles were on the street, or how else did they get there. Go over with a tow truck, and a couple of cruisers blocking the fenced in exits, and start asking for valid ID, license, and insurance info and registration. And put all the ones that don't have it on a flat bed, and drive away with them. They'll impound a car if you don't supply proper documentation,

Here is an example of proactive policing, instead of telling residents "to keep calling hundreds of times so we know its an issue." That's one of the most absurd things I've ever heard. This plan is pretty simple. How about doing your jobs and trying it 26th!

Please see above comment about police staffing and money.

If you would like to come to an FNA meeting and ask the 26th representative yourself, we would love to have you. Also, if you email the 26th at

, they may be able to elaborate.

c0llins's picture

I used to come to FNA meetings on a regular basis for months at a time. My current schedule doesn't allow me to make it very often anymore. I don't want to hear excuses anyway. It's a police department, whose job is to enforce the law, not make excuses why it can't. Anywhere outside of the city, this would be unacceptable. There is no reason why we should hold the 26th to a lower standard. Get creative, and get the job done.

Kenzo's picture

c0llins wrote:
There is something to be done. Start working on a plan to stop it, instead of cops moping around saying there is nothing they can do. They obviously need to get there by taking the streets. Ambush them on the streets. If cops start aggressively pursuing them, maybe they will start using a pickup truck or something to take the vehicles to the river. Ignoring the problem completely is irresponsible policing, and just laziness.

If anybody can get me addresses of where the ATV'ers live or the properties where they are garaging their vehicles, please private message me with the exact address of the property(ies) so I can have a look-see at the tax records on them.

If you got dough to blow on a rice-burner, I would hope the building you're living or garaging your motorbikes and ATVs has taken care of paying its fair share of the burden of fire, schools, and POLICE.

No need to post the property address(es) on here.

And please: you need to be DEAD-ON ACCURATE with the address. I don't want to spend time looking at something that isn't posing a threat to our neighborhood.

On the advice of someone who probably queened-out, this signature has been deleted.

newtofishtown's picture

I think the problem persists because the cops are too lazy to do anything about them. Moving violations are down 35%, the only agency giving tickets anymore is the PPA. Lots of money for the city.

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

Susquehanna's picture

dmandy wrote:
I don't know where they were coming from but I did see a police flatbed with 6 or 7 dirtbikes on it. This was on Sunday.

I've seen the bikes trucked in before. Usually 2–3 on a load. Not everyone has that luxury so they speed through the hood.

steveeboy's picture

who cares if they ride behind thriftway? that is exactly where they should be riding.

lots of people riding back there means less privacy for any of the actual serious crimes which have occurred in that area.

why isn't there an ongoing movement to take all that land and turn it into a park anyway? last I heard the railroad owes a ton of back taxes. seems like a swap could be made and lots of that nice land could be a good park for dog running, hiking, bmx, mx, and mountain bike riding.

Now, if some bone head is doing the crazy riding on the streets they need to be stopped and ticketed. and then next thing the cop should say is "why are you riding that motocross bike here on the street when you could be riding behind thriftway on actual dirt with jumps, berms, trails, etc?

Tell them they need to ride safely and in a non-terroristic manner to the trails, and while that ain't totally legal, at least they are not a threat to anyone but themselves.

If they just rode properly to the trails, there would be no problem.

"Hamsterdam" a la the Wire but for MX riders.

but longer term I really think that land should be eminent domained for a large park from the river all the way through kensington.

codergrrl's picture

Yeah, just tell them to ride nice. That's the ticket.

"Je Suis Prest"

Merle Hagert's picture

jbette01 wrote:
I guess I dont understand this comment. How often is there a high speed police chase in Fishtown?
It seems like you make a point to the contrary, that dirt bikes go places cars dont (wrong way down sidewalks, in between pedestrians, through playgrounds (!). There is not much you can say to convince me that a patrol car can follow a weaving ATV without being a substantial safety hazard.

I apologize—my point wasn't to address frequency or lack of high-speed chases through Fishtown. My point was that "weaving ATVs" are already a danger—an all-too common one—without any sort of police intervention. It's like saying you don't want to treat a cancerous tumor because the treatment would could potentially cause cancer (I'm sure there are better analogies—I haven't had coffee yet.) The other side of the argument is that I haven't heard of anyone being hurt by an ATV, knock on wood. I have, however, come within inches of being hit while walking on the pavement.

It would appear the 26th has options other than vehicular pursuit, as I'm led to believe through prior comments on this board.

steveeboy's picture

need to keep the people riding the dirt--where they should be-- separate from the people riding like idiots in the streets--where they shouldn't be...

you build a skate park so skaters can skate legally and to help keep the riff raff out of the park so people can play.

do the same for MX riders with that land behind thriftway--or at least don't hassle them for riding where they are not going to be a safety hazard to others.

the idiots in the streets do hit people, but I think more often they hit cars and get messed up.

I seem to recall a few years back some idiot rode right into a cop car and busted his own leg up.
I was happy to see the Karma bite him in the derriere.

Kenzo's picture

I'm not against sanctioning a place for motorcross, provided the bikes and ATVs are stored on-site and they don't go barreling down my street where there's a ton of kids, especially the ones that shoot up the wrong way and can't drive in a straight line when going down the street.

If the City thinks the Great Fishtown Tire Lot will never be turned into a park and wants to eminent domain it for motorsports, fine. I'll support it but only if they keep people from driving unlicensed vehicles through the hood. You can get a cheap ballhitch for your car at PepBoys and a carrier bed to drive it over to the lot or pair up with a friend who's got a carrier.

This crap is legitimately dangerous. It's not just a noise nuisance like the loud pipes, most of them from Jersey, who ride around Center City and South Phila in circles all day on summer weekends.

Why is it if I am on a motorcycle, society DEMANDS that I follow all the rules and obey the laws exactly like if I was a car, complete with auto tags and insurance that meets state minimums. But if I'm on a rice burner--well... WGAF? Let's shoot up the street the wrong way in hopes the po po doesn't see us!

On the advice of someone who probably queened-out, this signature has been deleted.

jbette01's picture

steveeboy wrote:
why isn't there an ongoing movement to take all that land and turn it into a park anyway? last I heard the railroad owes a ton of back taxes. seems like a swap could be made and lots of that nice land could be a good park for dog running, hiking, bmx, mx, and mountain bike riding.

Thats an interesting idea. I do agree with Kenzo's point though, it doesnt eliminate the danger or illegality of riding your bike/atv before you get there.

I have not had the luxury of negotiating with Conrail directly, but its my understanding that getting them to agree to the walking and biking pathway on their land that is a part of the Plan for the Central Delaware was considered huge. 'UGE.

steveeboy's picture

again, if they aren't riding like idiots, it doesn't really matter if they have a license on the back or not. And I wouldn't expect someone to trailer their dirt bike from Kensington or north philly to the thriftway parking lot. nobody is excusing the bad behaviour of some riders.

but then again, I am pretty sure that people who do trailer their ATVs to richmond st to ride back there aren't the ones causing issues so it probably isn't fair for them to be hassled for riding on a brown field.

If you have a legit or semi-legit place for people to ride, it would help. then when you do catch the bone heads you could let them know that if they cannot ride to trails without endangering others then they are gonna get arrested, bike seized, etc.

bozoloper's picture

i've yet to see anyone riding a dirt bike on public streets not ride like an idiot.

there's a fool on every corner when you're trying to get home.

dmandy's picture

Susquehanna wrote:
dmandy wrote:
I don't know where they were coming from but I did see a police flatbed with 6 or 7 dirtbikes on it. This was on Sunday.

I've seen the bikes trucked in before. Usually 2–3 on a load. Not everyone has that luxury so they speed through the hood.

This was a police flatbed, not private. my guess is that they were confiscated for some reason

Ardic_Splash's picture

Not to sound like a jerk, but I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often. They drive like nitwits in our neighborhood.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20120223_Man_killed__two_injured_in_Camden_ATV_crash.html

c0llins's picture

I hope they all simultaneously collide at the same intersection at the exact same time. Come on universe, make it happen!

Kenzo's picture

It's amaing though how ubiquitous these things are in the city but you almost NEVER see them on asphalt that is patrolled by Highway or the staties because they know those LEOs don't play that game.

The only major highway that I've seen them on consistently is the Boulevard. They're not brave enough yet to try them out on 76 or 95. I would imagine when one does do it, the crackdown is swift and immediate.

On the advice of someone who probably queened-out, this signature has been deleted.

codergrrl's picture

I got no problem with them riding around in the Conrail yards. When I was a kid, we did the same thing, riding around back there from Cumberland all the way up to Allegheny, or across the Tacony Bridge on 'Nickle Beach".
I got a problem with them riding on pavements on Saturday afternoons in a shopping/business district, with no regards to the elderly, kids, women pushing strollers, etc.

"Je Suis Prest"

gauler's picture

Leo wrote:
Didn't you have Bill Nye the Science Guy at least? Heck, even Mythbusters counts for a simple explanation.

Heavy Object Moving at X Speed v. Lighter Object Moving at X Speed = Bad day for lighter object (scientifically known as "Splat").

you forgot Beakman's world, but I digress.

____________
Interrupted

lighterthief's picture

The problem starts with a lack of enforcement of basic laws - lets start with property owners.. yeah the ones who won't call police on trespassers illegal dumpers etc because the city does not hold them to any standards for maintaining or securing their property. The owners, Conrail, whoever, should be held accountable for allowing illegal activity happen on their property and for failing to correct hazardous conditions on their property. The Police should not have to deal with this because it should have been handled by L&I in the first place. Owners of non-compliant, dangerous, probably tax-delinquent land should be heavily fined and ultimately foreclosed on by the city for allowing such conditions to persist. If the city did a better job of dealing with land and building management, simply by enforcing existing code it would greatly reduce the burden on the police. Not to excuse a police department policy that largely follows suit. Philadelphia likes to wait for disaster then react rather than work to prevent disaster in the first place.

Empty factories to the east and all our waste
The shape of things that came shows on the broken workers face

c0llins's picture

lighterthief wrote:
The problem starts with a lack of enforcement of basic laws - lets start with property owners.. yeah the ones who won't call police on trespassers illegal dumpers etc because the city does not hold them to any standards for maintaining or securing their property. The owners, Conrail, whoever, should be held accountable for allowing illegal activity happen on their property and for failing to correct hazardous conditions on their property. The Police should not have to deal with this because it should have been handled by L&I in the first place. Owners of non-compliant, dangerous, probably tax-delinquent land should be heavily fined and ultimately foreclosed on by the city for allowing such conditions to persist. If the city did a better job of dealing with land and building management, simply by enforcing existing code it would greatly reduce the burden on the police. Not to excuse a police department policy that largely follows suit. Philadelphia likes to wait for disaster then react rather than work to prevent disaster in the first place.

Like I said, this police department, and the city that pays them, is completely reactive, and not at all proactive, and its a shame.

c0llins's picture

Wow, the forum changed d.a.m.n. to "cursed". What is this, Disneyland?

26th District's picture

I really wanted to reply to this on Friday but had to hold back because we had an organized sting set up for Beach Street (Conrail) behind Pep Boys that we have been working on for 2 weeks. Happy to say that numerous dirt bikes, ATVs and cars were confiscated as well as several arrests for open warrants. Unfortunately due to manpower restrictions and overtime costs these stings cannot happen every weekend. It is next to impossible to corner all the illegal riders down there without at least 5 or 6 cars to cover each exit out of there.

We know the blight that these ATV and Dirtbikes bring to the area. They are driven recklessly on sidewalks, the wrong way on one way streets, they cause accidents and people have been killed riding them. Not to mention that there have been quite a few crimes committed by offenders operating them, including a murder in 2010 or 2011 in the 24th District.

That doesn't change the fact that we are not allowed to chase them. This has been updated into our Directives by the Commissioner. That does not stop us from pulling them over and confiscating them. Me and Captain Cram ourselves confiscated 1 Dirt bike last Monday and 1 ATV last Wednesday. We just have to pull them over without pursuit, which is next to impossible, or wait until they get stuck in traffic. These are one of our biggest pet peeves and believe me we work hard to stop them.

I can pretty much guarantee that 4-6 ATVs or Dirt bikes are confiscated every week during the mild weather by 26th District officers.

**Correction to post: Previously mentioned Homicide involving the ATVs was not a Homicide but was an Aggravated Assualt were a civilian was repeatedly ran over by ATVs back in 2009. Minor correction to a bad incident but didn't want to put out incorrect information.

rinobio's picture

How are other cities enforcing the chaos wrought by these things is the question, Thank You 26th district for your efforts we do appreciate them!

26th District's picture

Other cities have different rules that you will never see in Philadelphia such as the PIT manuever (hitting another vehicle in the rear to spin them out), high speed pursuits for traffic violations, etc. These things will never be justified in Philadelphia. Too much risk for injuries and casualties. The risk/reward just isn't there. You are risking the lives of the Officer, the offender as well as any innocent bystanders that just happen to get caught in the middle for a couple of tickets or a misdemeanor arrest.

probot67's picture

bozoloper wrote:
i've yet to see anyone riding a dirt bike on public streets not ride like an idiot.

Yeah I agree.. I once saw a guy pop a wheelie down York from Aramingo. That might not sound like much until I tell you he had an INFANT ON HIS LAP.

rinobio's picture

probot67 wrote:
bozoloper wrote:
i've yet to see anyone riding a dirt bike on public streets not ride like an idiot.

Yeah I agree.. I once saw a guy pop a wheelie down York from Aramingo. That might not sound like much until I tell you he had an INFANT ON HIS LAP.

I used to see guys on atvs and Dirtbikes fairly often with small children,helmetless etc the stupidity and danger is mindboggling and sad.

rinobio's picture

There needs to be stiffer punishments for these activities then - I was on girard ave bridge last week and 10 or 12 of them swarmed the bridge and almost caused who knows how many accidents laughing the whole time - one punched my car as he drove by just to add to the insanity and scared my mother half to death ( not cool) I seriously feel we should push on city council to do more to deal with this issue. ( stepping down off soap box)

kwhln215's picture

People need to get through their heads each district doesnt have the resources to handle every lil problem . They are kinda busy handling shooting , rapes and other violent crimes . Its not a new idea of the community helping them out . And i personally know they wont chase these idiots through the streets . Someone posted block them in where they meet up is the only good idea i saw

codergrrl's picture

Thank you 26th. I appreciate it.

"Je Suis Prest"

Lauraska's picture

rinobio wrote:
There needs to be stiffer punishments for these activities then - I was on girard ave bridge last week and 10 or 12 of them swarmed the bridge and almost caused who knows how many accidents laughing the whole time - one punched my car as he drove by just to add to the insanity and scared my mother half to death ( not cool) I seriously feel we should push on city council to do more to deal with this issue. ( stepping down off soap box)

They are REALLY bad on the Girard Ave bridge.

rinobio's picture

codergrrl wrote:
Thank you 26th. I appreciate it.

We really do if in what I said anyone felt I was not being appreciative of the efforts of the 26th I do apologize its a thankless task they have and I most certainly wouldn't want anyone put in a more dangerous situation over dirt bikes.I was just curious as to what other cities had managed to do to curb them - a google search brought up some very interesting sites but no information past that.
The 26th does an amazing job in my book at a near mission impossible task.

c0llins's picture

Without proper enforcement of basic quality of life issues, this city will never make any progress. I do appreciate police officers, but our system is completely broken.

I love being able to walk around this neighborhood with an open beer in my hand in the summer, but its against the law. I do it anyway because I enjoy it and know that no police officer is going to care. Same goes with the atv issue, and plenty of other quality of life issues. People have started crying about "trash police" and the PPA having a greater presence here. And I would complain if I got a ticket for my beer as I walk down Frankford Avenue. But after I finished whining about it I would be happy about it, because it would be a sign that we were moving in the right direction.

Quality of life enforcement changes neighborhoods for the better, and makes citizens respect the law. Let's get rid of this mindset that it can't be done, 26th.

ExUnit4's picture

Quality of Life issues and improvement also requires that everyone practice what they preach. If one is posting that they know you can't walk around with an open container of beer...but do it anyway..because no one will say anything, then YOU are part of the problem as well. I agree that the enforcement of these issues does appear to be sorely lacking( and why is it police dont say a thing about open drinkers)??? My biggest concern of late is the illegal parking that's blocking the corners and on the hydrants( I'll use in front of Les and Doreens at Almond and Thompson or the bar at Norris and Gaul as prime examples). God forbid a police emergency or fire vehicle can't get thru because they are TOO LAZY to enforce obvious safety hazzards(let alone the bar tell it's customers to find a legal spot and maybe walk 4 blocks like us residents have to do thanks to them taking our limited spots). Then again, since the 26th district officers are parked all over the sidewalk behind the station( you know captain..by the Library where our children need to use the sidewalk) , or on the sidewalk of Penn Treaty HS as well as blocking the garages at corner on Flora street( by the weed invested vacant lot) it's apparent the 26th officers dont care care about such things. Because they don't live around here and can all drive home to their homes with garages or ample on street parking.

Speak softly, the dashboard cam has a very sensative microphone

steveeboy's picture

parking up on the corners and sidewalks knowing the car is going to be gone in morning when person goes to work--or leaves the bar-- is part of the discretion involved in an urban environment. ditto sometimes parking on sidewalks--in SF you used to be able to DOUBLE PARK on sidewalks in busy neighborhoods and the cops would not ticket between like midnight and 8am. This only works because it "does."

See, for example, the parking in South Philly. I am sure that is not legal but I bet people that live there ain't complaining about it as a symbol of general urban decay and demanding full enforcement.

Cops get to park where they work. I personally love how the FOP gets to block off huge swaths of Spring Garden whenever they want. Good luck with changing that one...

Walking with a beer is not a problem that needs enforcement. People who do it are not "part of the problem" unless they litter, bust the bottle, disturb the peace, puke, etc.

Not sure if all this "broken window theory" policing implementation needs the full Giuliani-Time treatment or not.

I would prefer to avoid that.

And I am sure that there are TONS of people who have less respect for the law once they get jacked up for Mickey Mouse "crimes" such as open container, riding a motocross bike in the brownfield behind thriftway during a "sting," get pulled over for "obstructed mirror" or "license plate not properly displayed," etc. as a pretext to go for a search.

c0llins's picture

I am certainly not part of the problem, as i don't hurt anyone else when I have a can in my hand. I never litter, and am respectful of those around me. But i wouldn't mind at all if i was told by the police to dump it out. The whole point isn't whether or not I'm right or wrong for my actions. The point is that issues like maniacs flying around on atv's on sidewalks and blowing stop signs at 50mph will never be addressed, because Philly cops DON'T care about quality of life issues. They expect us to police ourselves which is ridiculous. They also don't live anywhere near the communities they serve, and tend to often look down on the communities they commute to. Again, all of this is true and just sad.

codergrrl's picture

ExUnit4 wrote:
God forbid a police emergency or fire vehicle can't get thru because they are TOO LAZY to enforce obvious safety hazzards(let alone the bar tell it's customers to find a legal spot and maybe walk 4 blocks like us residents have to do thanks to them taking our limited spots).

You know, not trying to be antagonistic, but honestly, if some horrible situation did arise, I would be willing to bet that the people in the bar, would not only have their vehicles out of the way in time for whatever first responder showed, they'd already be lending a hand to help whatever that situation might be. The people in those bars ARE residents also. I can absolutely see the point you are trying to make, however, that's one of the beauties of living in a place like Fishtown. Those guys in the bars will be the first ones banging down your door if your house is on fire, or catching your kid if you have to toss them out the window. We're all walking on a razors edge. There aren't enough police anywhere in this city, and that is not the fault of the patrolmen. Crime is triaged, just like in the ER, and luckily, we've only sprained our ankles, we're not in full cardiac arrest.

"Je Suis Prest"

KingDingAling's picture

I was told twice last summer to dump my beer on york street so you're just not being caught by the right copper. I tried everything to save my beer too, bribery, a witty joke to bond over, unfortunately to no avail.

When the king speaks, fishtown.us would be wise to listen.

Landj's picture

I lived in Vegas so I experienced the drinking while walking through the mall, etc.. But what a culture shock when I went to Berlin! It was so awesome! I saw a few people litter, don't know if they were tourists or residents, but there were trashcans everywhere. They were all full of empty beer cans. It was amazing!

Kenzo's picture

It was interesting at the ORCA meeting just now with Councilman Squilla; several times we were interrupted by ATV noise. When I went back to check and ask the kids to keep it down for 20 minutes, one of the ATVs was about the size of a toy poodle.

They make ATVs now sized for 3 year olds?

I'm not posting the link on where to buy this because I know some of you here (ahem: th, sdm, dan, bozoloper) will order one.

On the advice of someone who probably queened-out, this signature has been deleted.

sdm's picture

They make ones even smaller than that. You basically have to squat on it. I almost ran over one on Cedar today since they have no lights and it was dark out.

Neatly chiseled, well groomed, drop dead handsome face.

rinobio's picture

They sell those ( at least time I was there they did) at pep boys they are insane lil death traps in my opinion as you can't see them even in day light.. total insanity.

Landj's picture

Kids big wheels are death traps too. Can't see them from a rear view mirror.

Kenzo's picture

On the advice of someone who probably queened-out, this signature has been deleted.

bozoloper's picture

Kenzo wrote:
Wow these things are not cheap

http://vehicles.oodle.com/used-vehicles/philadelphia-area/atvs/

they're much cheaper when you steal them from people's backyards.

there's a fool on every corner when you're trying to get home.

jbette01's picture

c0llins wrote:
They also don't live anywhere near the communities they serve, and tend to often look down on the communities they commute to.

I am not interested in having the 26th officers live in the 26th. I think that situation is ripe for corruption and in place for a reason.

What I have found is that some officers did live here at some point, not sure if that is by design.

Atomic Larry's picture

codergrrl wrote:
ExUnit4 wrote:
God forbid a police emergency or fire vehicle can't get thru because they are TOO LAZY to enforce obvious safety hazzards(let alone the bar tell it's customers to find a legal spot and maybe walk 4 blocks like us residents have to do thanks to them taking our limited spots).

You know, not trying to be antagonistic, but honestly, if some horrible situation did arise, I would be willing to bet that the people in the bar, would not only have their vehicles out of the way in time for whatever first responder showed, they'd already be lending a hand to help whatever that situation might be. The people in those bars ARE residents also. I can absolutely see the point you are trying to make, however, that's one of the beauties of living in a place like Fishtown. Those guys in the bars will be the first ones banging down your door if your house is on fire, or catching your kid if you have to toss them out the window. We're all walking on a razors edge. There aren't enough police anywhere in this city, and that is not the fault of the patrolmen. Crime is triaged, just like in the ER, and luckily, we've only sprained our ankles, we're not in full cardiac arrest.

Great Post!

c0llins's picture

jbette01 wrote:
c0llins wrote:
They also don't live anywhere near the communities they serve, and tend to often look down on the communities they commute to.

I am not interested in having the 26th officers live in the 26th. I think that situation is ripe for corruption and in place for a reason.

What I have found is that some officers did live here at some point, not sure if that is by design.

I understand your point, but I certainly don't like officers living outside of the city, looking down on us as if they are some sort of elitists.

bozoloper's picture

c0llins wrote:
jbette01 wrote:
c0llins wrote:
They also don't live anywhere near the communities they serve, and tend to often look down on the communities they commute to.

I am not interested in having the 26th officers live in the 26th. I think that situation is ripe for corruption and in place for a reason.

What I have found is that some officers did live here at some point, not sure if that is by design.

I understand your point, but I certainly don't like officers living outside of the city, looking down on us as if they are some sort of elitists.

until very recently they weren't allowed to live outside the city, but i think they are now.

there's a fool on every corner when you're trying to get home.

Kenzo's picture

bozoloper wrote:
c0llins wrote:
jbette01 wrote:
c0llins wrote:
They also don't live anywhere near the communities they serve, and tend to often look down on the communities they commute to.

I am not interested in having the 26th officers live in the 26th. I think that situation is ripe for corruption and in place for a reason.

What I have found is that some officers did live here at some point, not sure if that is by design.

I understand your point, but I certainly don't like officers living outside of the city, looking down on us as if they are some sort of elitists.

until very recently they weren't allowed to live outside the city, but i think they are now.

I was living in the '49 when the last FOP contract was inked that partially lifted the residency restriction. This put a lot of people in the Northeast on edge b/c the fear was if all the cops move out, they'll add to the blight problem rather than contain it with an exodus of police families leaving the city.

A lot of cops considered this a big win... but the big stinker: they are not allowed to live in New Jersey and only certain classes of LEOs are permitted to live outside the City. I believe it goes by seniority in the last union contract.

Blocking officers from selecting New Jersey as their domicile has kept almost all of them in the city because really, the only other place they'd move to if they sold their house or started renting out their present house would be lower Bucks County or possibly Eastern Delco; but the way Eastern Delco is rapidly declining, it's not really a prospective place to invest in a house for the long haul.

And you're not going to be seeing many senior cops, detectives, etc. moving to live next door to the neuvo riche of ChesCo, upper Delco, outer MontCo, and Yardley/Middletown is too far away from the City to get to work on time. There a lot of cops living in Roxy... I doubt I'd up and sell my house to move to the other side of the Schuylkill and add an additional 25 minutes of frustration to the morning commute, and then deal with very high property taxes for living in Lower Merion.

This is just going off of my ex-neighbors, but the prevailing feeling was that it wouldn't make sense to up and move unless retirement was getting near anyway. As long as moving to Jersey is not an option, doubt you'll see many move out.

On the advice of someone who probably queened-out, this signature has been deleted.