2 arrested after ‘Wheels Up, Guns Down’ riders hit Miami-Dade roadways early

MIAMI (WSVN) - Police across South Florida are on the move this holiday weekend as dozens of dirt bike and all-terrain vehicle riders swarm roadways to get a head start to the “Wheels Up, Guns Down” protests.

Two bikers have already been arrested in Northwest Miami-Dade, Friday evening.

Saturday afternoon, 7News cameras captured several Miami-Dade Police cruisers in Miami as they chased after the holiday weekend riders two days before the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day event.

The heavy police presence comes a day after police took 21-year-old Jonathan Spignolio and 28-year-old Raymond Gonzalez into custody for allegedly using off-road vehicles illegally.

The arrest went down in the area of Northwest 119th Street and 24th Avenue.

Officers soon discovered the men were armed. One of them was charged with possession of a stolen weapon, and the other faces one count of carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

Both of the subjects’ vehicles were impounded.

Just after 5:30 p.m. on Friday, aerial cameras captured a group of riders at a gas station at Northwest 17th Avenue and 54th Street, also in Northwest Miami-Dade.

That sighting followed multiple reports of ATV riders weaving through traffic in Hialeah and Opa-locka. Bikers were also spotted in the area of Northwest 22nd Avenue and 71st Street in Northwest Miami-Dade.

The riders reportedly crowded roadways, cut off drivers, ran red lights and performed dangerous maneuvers.

Just before 6 p.m. on Friday, riders were seen in downtown Miami in front of the American Airlines Arena. Cellphone video showed several bikers riding dangerously close to cars along U.S. 1 near Southwest 17th Avenue in Coconut Grove.

At around 6:10 p.m., about 50 riders riders were seen getting onto the northbound lanes of Interstate 95 from U.S. 1 and speeding down the highway at a high rate of speed. Cameras captured some of the bikers performing stunts and popping wheelies. Some were even seen standing on their moving bikes.

Less than 10 minutes later, they exited I-95 through State Road 112. They were later spotted in the area of Northwest 71st Street and 21st Avenue.

At around 6:30 p.m., the same group was spotted heading northbound past Northwest 103rd Street.

Earlier this week, authorities in Miami-Dade and Broward counties issued a warning to riders stressing they will be enforcing a zero tolerance policy to such activities.

As was the case with Friday night’s arrests, officials said bikers pulled over during the holiday weekend will be arrested and have their vehicles confiscated.

The annual event, which police say is not in any way sanctioned in any official way, has taken place across South Florida in previous years over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend to protest gun violence.

Authorities advised drivers to observe caution at stoplights and intersections throughout the weekend.

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