Police said they are fully aware now that it is warmer out, illegal riders are back on city streets. Luckily, with the help of social media over the weekend, they were able to pinpoint where the riders would congregate.
A large crowd of ATV riders were seen blowing past a red light at the busy intersection near Broad Street. Cars were not able to go on green because they wanted to avoid hitting them.
“If you come to Hartford to ride these vehicles, expect to get caught,” said Mayor Luke Bronin of Hartford. Bronin wanted everyone to know the City of Hartford will never tolerate such behavior.
“We take this very serious. The threat that these vehicles pose to the life and the property and we take very seriously our commitment to being effective in trying to deter and enforce against their use,” said Bronin.
With the use of a helicopter and a team effort from multiple agencies, ten people were arrested and all of them are facing different charges.
Officers seized 14 vehicles which were a mix of dirt bikes and quads. They also seized a U-Haul van and a Dodge pickup truck that were being used to transport the ATV’s and marijuana.
Chief David Rosado said most of the people arrested were not from Connecticut.
“Nine out of ten are outside of the city. We have to stop and send that message that you’re not going to come to the city of Hartford and trample on the quality of life are at the community’s expense,” said Rosado of the Hartford Police Department.
The chief added they came from Massachusetts and Rhode Island and said it is common for riders to come to Hartford.
Police said while stolen ATV’s have been an issue in the past, this was not the case for Sunday.
“Once we get them off the street, we have to keep them off the street, so we’re working with the courts to make sure that when we seize these vehicles, we can either destroy them or just make sure that they do not get back out on the street and become another bother to the community,” said Rosado.
Bronin and police want people to know if you see ATV riders to immediately report it.