CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - State troopers set up a sting on the east side of Cleveland Tuesday to bust illegal dirt bike riders on city streets.
Cleveland 19 continues to follow this dangerous problem since Chief Investigator Carl Monday shed light on it back in 2015. Our crew was there as Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers, along with help from Cleveland Police and the ATF, tracked down illegal dirt bikers riding recklessly near children at a public park.
Cleveland 19 got to see firsthand how law enforcement is fighting the problem.
During rush hour on the east side of Cleveland, state trooper Shawn Kline took Cleveland 19 on a ride along as they looked for illegal dirt bike riders. A couple dozen troopers targeted the area of Harvard and Lee in Cleveland. It didn't take long for them to spot one when we were with them.
"Dirt bike at 145th and Harvard," came over the police scanner. "He's driving between cars in the opposite lane."
The Cleveland Police helicopter lead the way by air. State troopers followed the dirt biker to Kerruish Park.
The driver was trapped, and drove back and forth across the grass with the chopper overhead. He then ditched the bike at a public pool, and dozens of children cleared the area as state troopers moved in. Troopers searched the area and questioned the lifeguards.
"They gave us the keys, we found it locked inside," said Trooper Shawn Kline.
They rolled a red Honda dirt bike out of a building next to the pool.
"At this point, ran the VIN to determine who owns it, comes out of Hudson, Ohio," Kline said.
Troopers couldn't find the driver, but they were happy to stop him in his tracks.
Cleveland 19 is told the bike may have been stolen.
"The dirt bikes as everyone knows are pretty reckless on the roads. And I think you saw him also, he was driving all over the grassy areas and the kids were swimming, so definitely could've hit one and killed them easily," Kline said.
Neighbors in that area have been complaining about the noise and reckless danger from dirt bikes and ATVs for several years.
The city of Cleveland is in plans to build a controversial $2.3 million dirt bike track at East 73rd Street and Kinsman. Ohio State Highway Patrol and other law enforcement officers aren't waiting to find out if that will help solve the problem.
State troopers nabbed a few dirt bike riders Tuesday evening.
Violators face a fine of at least $100 through the city for riding illegally.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was involved in case any guns were recovered during the operation.
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