Deputies Crack Down on Illegal ATV Riders/Biker Gangs in Central FL

Biker GangsOver the last year, Central Florida has seen an uptick of illegal ATV and dirt bike activity on our roads. Several reports have detailed both police officers and everyday citizens being harassed by the unlawful antics of gangs on ATVs and dirt bikes. That isn’t a problem that only Central Florida deals with. According to Captain Carlos Torres, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, reckless activity from groups riding together on ATVs and dirt bikes has become a nationwide issue. These groups are known to cause violence and to have little respect for the law. ATVs are not street legal, nor are most dirt bikes. 

When are ATV and Biker Gangs Most Active in Central Florida?

Bikers come out when the weather warms up. Daytona’s Bike Week is an annual event in March that bikers nationwide flock to. It’s around this time when reports of illegal biker gang activity spike the most. While motorcyclists generally behave in a respectable way and pose no threat to anyone, biker and ATV gangs have been known to act violently on occasion and even lash out at anyone who provokes them. 

Last March, a couple driving along Orange Avenue collided with an illegal dirt bike on the road while making a left turn. The dirt bike rider landed on the windshield of the couple’s car, and the couple immediately got out of their vehicle to check on the rider – who quickly jumped up and fled the scene. Right after this incident, a gang of other ATV riders swarmed the couple and struck down the husband with kicks, punches, and blows while holding their helmets. The woman, who was five months pregnant, was also hit in the back of the head. Before this confrontation, the same ATV and dirt bike gang had caused an accident on the Florida Turnpike by making an illegal U-turn, leading to a serious wreck. 

What are Deputies Doing about ATV Riders and Biker Gangs in Central Florida?

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is well aware that biker gang activity heats up each spring once the weather does the same. Last March, Orange County Sheriff John Mina sent out a stern message for illegal ATV and dirt bike gangs, noting, “We are going to find you, we are going to arrest you, and we will seize your vehicle.” Central Florida’s law enforcement has helicopters at their disposal to scan the roads for groups, or gangs, of ATV and dirt bike riders so deputies can be ready to respond quickly. 

If a road deputy confronts an illegal ATV or dirt bike on the road, they will enforce their legal right to seize the illicit street machines from the riders. If the riders flee, deputies will not pursue them – as doing so is forbidden by department policy. 

What Should I Do if I’m Confronted by an ATV or Dirt Bike Gang?

With the influx of illegal dirt bike riders, many well-respected motorcyclists make efforts to distance themselves from lawless riders. Both motorcyclists and motorists have voiced questions on social media asking what to do if they’re confronted by a biker gang. Orlando law enforcement advises that it’s best to treat these incidents the same as you would with a road rage case – to disengage, get somewhere safe, and call 911. Police urge citizens not to take matters into their own hands, but to instead let trained law enforcement handle the situation. 

If you’re confronted by a biker gang, Florida Highway Patrol spokeswoman Lt. Kim Montes advises citizens to take the following actions:

  • If possible, get out of the way.
  • If moving out of the bikers’ path isn’t possible, then slow down. Bikers won’t stay behind a slow driver for long and will seek to pass you.
  • Never get out of your vehicle. Drive to somewhere safe, like a parking lot, remain inside your car, and call the police for help.
  • If possible, take notes (or mental notes) of the riders. Pay attention to their jackets, their helmets, tattoos, and any other distinct features. Usually, biker helmets are personalized, so any details can help deputies identify the rider.
  • If you have a passenger with you who is helping you take notes, don’t make it evident that’s what you’re doing. If a biker notices, they might feel provoked and retaliate violently against you. 

If you’re ever confronted by a gang of ATV and dirt bike riders, the best thing to do is disengage. Never try to “be the hero” by confronting them. Let law enforcement handle it, so you stay safe.

Assaulted by a Biker Gang Member? Call The Umansky Law Firm for Help

Thanks to our great weather and gorgeous landscape that’s perfect for motorcycle riding, Florida hosts a lot of motorcyclists each year. Many Floridians look forward to Daytona’s Bike Week, but they should not be afraid of getting harmed by lawless riders. When these events are in full swing, high alcohol consumption can lead to confrontations. If you or someone close to you has been hurt by an altercation with a biker gang member, it’s essential to understand that help is available, and you deserve to be compensated for your injuries and suffering. 

The attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm in Orlando have altogether specialized in personal injury and criminal law for more than 100 years. They have the experience and the case results to prove their ability to negotiate favorable results for their clients. Call them anytime at (407) 228-3838 or fill out an online form to schedule your free case review.