Nashville police are asking for backup after a group of ATV riders have been running rampant on their roadways.
Over the weekend, police say that hundreds of ATV and dirt bike riders descended on Nashville, Tennessee, illegally taking over a busy roadway and “weaving in and out of moving and parked vehicles, endangering motorists and pedestrians,” according to a news release from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.
Around 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, the ATV rider group’s takeover took a violent turn when Sergeant John Bourque was struck and dragged along Broadway by one of the ATV riders. Bourque was slammed against a metal barrier as the ATV rider drove away. Bourque was later treated for non life-threatening injuries.
The search for the person who struck Bourque is ongoing.
OFFICER DRAGGED: Authorities in Tennessee are looking for the driver of a four-wheeler who dragged a police sergeant down the street as dozens of riders took over downtown Nashville on Saturday. https://abcn.ws/2TP8aPR
Posted by ABC 7 Chicago on Monday, March 18, 2019
On Sunday, March 17, the ATV riders returned to Nashville streets and caused more trouble for drivers. At the intersection of Maplewood and Dickerson Pike one ATV rider crashed into a passenger vehicle while doing wheelies. The ATV riders fell off of his vehicle and the car driver began filming the incident on his phone. At this point, a second ATV rider robbed the motorist of his phone at gunpoint.
Local woman LaShonda Parks-Bailey also reported a costly crash caused by a reckless ATV driver on Sunday. “He lost control of the four wheeler and it flipped over on my son’s car. They ran up the street, got on a bike with another one of the riders a black truck pulled up, scooped everything up and they just went up on their day like nothing ever happened,” she said. The damage to her son’s car is estimated at $3000.
Have you seen these reckless riders around Nashville today? FOX 17 News shot video of them running red lights, making illegal turns and doing wheelies on busy roadways.Tune-in to FOX 17 News @ 9pm for more on this story: https://fox17.com/news/local/group-of-atv-motorcycle-riders-caught-on-video-driving-recklessly-around-nashville
Posted by WZTV FOX 17 News, Nashville on Saturday, March 16, 2019
Fraternal Order of Police President James Smallwood says that the Nashville Police Department is understaffed by 118 officers, making it difficult for them to stop the ATV group. Smallwood told News Channel 5 that “they’re certainly emboldened and they’re certainly out there terrorizing the streets and terrorizing our communities and that’s not appropriate.”
Smallwood said that the department needs backup if they hope to get the ATV group under control.
The ATV groups have told local news outlets that they are riding “for a good cause” but exactly what that cause might be is unclear.