'Wheels Up, Guns Down' riders leave jail regretful, trying to get ATVs, bikes back

Some riders have difficult time reclaiming impounded vehicles

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Two men who took part in the "Wheels Up, Guns Down" rideout walked out of jail Tuesday, expressing regret for traveling from far away to take part in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day tradition in South Florida.

Monday's mass ride of dirt bikes and ATVs was Christopher Potter's first. He traveled from Cincinnati to participate in the event but wound up in jail, accused of eluding police.

"Hell yeah I do," Potter said when asked if he regretted the decision.

Potter said his only crime was riding a four-wheeler, but the incident report said the ATV he was driving had been reported stolen.

Miami-Dade police reported eight felony arrests, nine misdemeanor and traffic arrests, four firearms seized, 18 violations and 72 ATVs and dirt bikes impounded.

Defendant after defendant appeared in bond court Tuesday to face charges, some with injuries and some with prior criminal records.

One man, Arnold Dow, who traveled from Baltimore, was arrested after he allegedly fled from police until he lost control of his dirt bike and crashed.

It was a busy day at tow yards across South Florida.

Some riders with money and the proper paperwork left with their bikes and ATVs. Others left only to return another day.

Shawn Hamreck, who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, said he was told he would need a bill of sale from the state of Florida in order to get his bike back.

Elijah Rivera said he had his bike impounded, even though he had all the necessary paperwork.
Some riders claimed police didn't care to explain why they were pulled over and, in some cases, arrested.

Rivera said 10 to 12 police cars swarmed him and his girlfriend, who was sitting behind him. He said the officers were "aggressive" with them.

Hamreck got the U-Haul trailer back, but not the eight bikes that were inside.

Rows of bikes and ATVs were waiting to be claimed at Midtown Towing. An employee at the business claimed some riders jumped a fence in an attempt to get their bikes back, but they couldn't get inside the building.

About the Authors: