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Bikers pick up dirt bikes, ATVs at impound after MLK ride

Several bikes reported stolen, police say


MIAMI – Several bikers visited an impound lot for Miami police Tuesday, where those with $150 and proof of purchase were allowed to redeem their dirt bikes and ATVs after Monday's "Bikes Up, Guns Down" ride.

"'Bikes Up, Guns Down' -- that's how we do it," one biker, who only wanted to be identified as C1, said. "I came way from Fort Pierce to get my (expletive) bike. We down here promoting a good cause, you know what I mean, and look what they do."

Despite bikers' claims that the ride was all about bringing peace to area, Miami-Dade police said 28 arrests were made in the county, five of which were firearms related. One of the guns was a Mac-10 machine gun, police said.

"Under the guise of celebrating the MLK holiday, these groups took to our streets on off-road vehicles causing traffic hazards that endangered themselves and the public. As such, the Miami-Dade Police Department conducted an operation to minimize the hazards to the extent possible," the Police Department said in a statement Tuesday.

C1 and dozens of others' ride was cut short Monday after police confiscated their dirt bikes and ATVs.

"They wasn't chasing us, which was good. I give them credit on that, but they just get you when you stop," James Stewart said. "Two officers jumped out of the vehicle, both of them with their guns down."

Miami-Dade police said 59 motorcycles/ATVs and three cars were towed.

Officers positioned themselves at gas stations in Miami, where they could safely move in to regulate bikers who were driving erratically throughout Broward and Miami-Dade counties -- some even going the wrong way on main streets and highways.

Hollywood police arrested one man, Kamari Gardner, 18, for not having a license and for driving a stolen dirt bike.

"We haven't taken a lot of people to jail, but we are certainly taking the bikes because they are not legal to have on the streets," Miami police Maj. Delrish Moss said.

About 30 dirt bikes and ATVs were impounded in Miami.

"These guys are the biggest idiots there are in this world," tow truck driver Jorge Crespo. "This has nothing to do with Martin Luther King. This is just breaking the law. 'Guns Down, Bikes Up.' What does it have to do with anything? They just breaking the law (and) that's why they land here."

Meanwhile, the riders maintain that there is a message behind their thrill.

"Stop killing each other. More peace in the urban community," C1 said.

Gardner bonded out of jail Tuesday morning after being arrested on a grand theft charge.

Most of the dirt bikes and ATVs that were impounded don't have license plates, a lot don't have the proper lights and police said the bikes are not meant to be on streets.

After being ticketed, towed and some arrested, bikers told Local 10 News that "Bikes Up, Guns Down" will come again next Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

 


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