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Holiday havoc swept through the streets of South Florida this weekend, as bikers put on a dangerous demonstration to protest gun violence. The brazen maneuvers sent several people to the hospital and landed several others behind bars.
7News cameras captured a large group of motorcyclists revving up their engines at a gas station in Miami Gardens, Sunday night, as the rider of an all-terrain vehicle drove straight through traffic. The group scattered once police showed up.
Hours earlier, another ATV rider collided with a police cruiser nearby.
In Northwest Miami-Dade, rescue crews rushed the rider of a dirt bike to the hospital after, officials said, he collided with a vehicle, Sunday afternoon.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to the scene of the crash in the area of Northwest 22nd Avenue and 63rd Street, at around 5 p.m.
7Skyforce HD hovered above the scene as paramedics tended to the male victim.
He was transported by ground to Jackson Memorial Hospital as a trauma alert. He is listed in critical condition.
Aerial cameras and cellphone footage showed bikers weaving through traffic, as participants aimed to spread a simple message in the days leading up to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday: “Wheels Up, Guns Down.”
Others simply broke the law. Unregistered ATVs and dirt bikes are not allowed on South Florida roads.
Miami-Dade Police said they have towed 38 of the illegal vehicles since Saturday. Officers have given out 29 tickets and made multiple arrests.
Authorities across South Florida repeatedly urged riders to stay home. Still, countless bikers were seen popping wheelies and pulling dangerous stunts.
In Miami Gardens on Saturday, a dirt bike that was reported stolen was involved in a crash, and a Miami Gardens Police sergeant was outnumbered by about 100 riders at a Sunoco gas station. One of them was caught on camera taking a peek inside the law enforcer’s cruiser while another jumped up and down on the trunk.
Last week, authorities promised zero tolerance to anyone caught breaking the law during the holiday weekend.
“We are not looking to arrest people and put this type of thing on a person’s record,” said Broward Sheriff Scott Israel. “However, the most important thing we can do is keep Broward County a safe place.”
“The best thing you can do is not go out there and break our laws and drive reckless on our highway and city streets,” said Florida Highway Patrol Major Robert Chandler.
Law enforcement said they will be out in full force Monday making arrests and towing bikes. They also said the best way to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King is to attend a sanctioned event such as a parade or a community event.
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