PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Police are searching for the killer of a 21-year-old man who was gunned down at an illegal gathering of dirt bikes in Port Richmond. Following his shooting, city officials are looking at ways to deal with the growing problem of dirt bikes and ATVs on city streets.
District Attorney Larry Krasner says his office is committed to getting ATVs and dirt bikes off of Philadelphia streets.READ MORE: Southwest Philadelphia Block Renamed After Rev. Paul 'Earthquake' Moore
It is a sight that’s becoming all too familiar and all too dangerous on the streets of Philadelphia. ATV and dirt bike riders sharing the road with drivers in what police say is becoming a risky and reckless mix.
“I think it’s very careful for us not to lump everyone together and for us not to stereotype,” Krasner said. “There is a big difference between driving a vehicle down the street and endangering people by driving up and down the sidewalk. There is a difference between traveling at a normal speed and going at an extremely high speed or going against traffic lights or blowing through traffic lights. There are people who ride motorcycles who are good and law-abiding people and to the extent they’re doing something that is a traffic violation that needs to be addressed. But, that is not the same thing as people whose conduct is endangering and lawless and whose conduct must be addressed directly as a crime.”READ MORE: Commuters Make Backup Plans Ahead Of SEPTA Strike Vote
Krasner, flanked by community members in West Philadelphia, touted a collaboration between his office, Philadelphia police and City Council members to find a way to crack down on illegal off-road vehicles. More and more residents are complaining of how disruptive they’ve become in neighborhoods around the city.
He talked about working closely with Philadelphia police to try and crack down on the illegal ATV and dirt bike riders.
“Popping a wheelie and riding up a sidewalk with kids in strollers and people walking down the street, that’s a crime,” Krasner said. “That is reckless endangerment of another person. It is disorderly conduct.”MORE NEWS: Camden County Voters Trickle In As New Jersey Starts Early Voting For The First Time
On Saturday, 21-year-old Angel Rodriguez was shot and killed while riding his dirt bike. Police say Rodriguez was shot by a man on a motorcycle at Aramingo Avenue and Butler Street during a large dirt bike and motorcycle gathering.
“Literally hundreds of ATVs out at the time of his murder,” Assistant District Attorney Chesley Lightsey said. “There were 50 or more people who after the murder took photographs of the decedent. We have a lot of video, but not one person who was out there has come forward to help police.”
While the case remains unsolved, the District Attorney’s Office is looking to other cities for assistance as the culture of riding is growing across the country.