Cleveland councilman pushes for change after group assaults 72-year-old man who hit dirt bike rider with pickup truck

City leaders pushing for change after group assaults 72-year-old man who hit dirt bike rider

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cleveland Police are still searching for the group of people who beat up a 72-year-old man, after he struck and dragged a dirt bike rider Sunday evening.

The collision occurred near the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Burges Road, and the rider was dragged several hundred feet, according to a Cleveland police report.

Police said they received at least 44 calls for dirt bikes and ATVs driving illegally on Cleveland’s public roads on Sunday.

Both the 72-year-old man and the dirt bike rider were taken to University Hospitals for treatment for their injuries.

No arrests have been made at this time, Cleveland police said.

A Bureau of Traffic supervisor for the city of Cleveland was also assaulted by a masked ATV rider on Sunday while trying to make an arrest in an unrelated incident, according to the Cleveland Division of Police.

Some say enough is enough.

“We don’t live in a lawless society, we have laws and people need to follow the laws," said Councilman Matt Zone, Ward 15.

But many say the laws aren’t strict enough. Cleveland police have seven off-Road motorcycles in its fleet and can pursue those using dirt bikes illegally, under certain circumstances.

Officers are not allowed to pursue the ATV and dirt bike riders in their squad cars.

“It’s unfortunate because our police are handicapped. when you have hundreds of people riding recklessly, it’s hard for them to apprehend individuals," said Zone.

And if the riders are caught, the penalty is a misdemeanor.

Zone is the chair of Cleveland City Council’s Safety Committee. The chaos happened in his ward. He says there have been ongoing discussions about the issue for years.

“This same event occurs, it seems, like once or twice a year, and it really enrages the community, and they have every right to be upset. But, I want people to know that our police are attempting to find out who’s behind this and prevent this from happening again," said Zone.

On Wednesday, Aug. 14, the safety committee will meet and while the dirt bike & ATV issue is not formally on the agenda, Zone told 19 News that he believes there will be discussion that will hopefully lead to some action.

Anyone who witnesses illegal ATV and dirt bike operations can call Crime Stoppers at 216-25-CRIME.

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