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Cops: Hundreds of illegal ATV, dirt bike riders converge

<i>WFSB</i><br/>Illegal ATVs and dirt bikes blocked traffic at a Hartford intersection on August 1.
Illegal ATVs and dirt bikes blocked traffic at a Hartford intersection on August 1.

By Kaitlyn Naples, Courtney Zieller

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    HARTFORD, Connecticut (WFSB) — Police continue to combat the ongoing issue of illegal ATVs and dirt bikes riding recklessly around Connecticut streets.

West Hartford police said they received a number of complaints about a large group of ATVs and motorcycles driving recklessly around town on Sunday.

During a news conference on Monday, police said they estimated about 200 ATV, dirt bike, and motorcycle riders to be driving erratically throughout local streets Sunday evening.

“It’s not a new phenomenon. It’s been occurring throughout the state. They have come through West Hartford before. I think last night’s group was the largest we’ve seen,” said West Hartford Assistant Police Chief Lawrence Terra.

The group was seen on Farmington Avenue, Ridgewood Road, and New Britain Avenue.

No crashes or injuries were reported as a result.

A group of riders were also seen Sunday evening in downtown Hartford.

While officers are trying to crack down on these riders, enforcing traffic laws is a challenge as the vehicles don’t have registration plates and operators fail to stop when signaled by police.

State law also prohibits the use of tire deflation devices and road blocks, as well as the ability to pursue for motor vehicle violations and property crimes.

West Hartford police said they are working with regional law enforcement partners to come up with appropriate solutions and responses to the problem.

Police said they have some good leads on identifying riders involved in Sunday’s incident.

Anyone with information about the riders seen in West Hartford is asked to contact police at (860) 570-8870.

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