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Hollywood Police Department cracks down on ATVs during “Wheels Up Guns Down” ride

The Hollywood Police Department is reminding drivers that all-terrain vehicles are not allowed on City streets. ATVs, dirt bikes and any off-road vehicles are illegal to drive on paved roads. In addition, any person found to be operating a vehicle in a reckless manner such as running red lights, performing stunts, or weaving in and out of traffic is subject to possible arrest and confiscation of their vehicles. Violators can also face fines of $116 to $1,100.

On Sunday, January 7, 2018, shortly after 5 p.m., Hollywood Police arrested Erik Bell who crashed into a vehicle while he was illegally and dangerously driving a four-wheeler in the area of 64th Avenue and Johnson Street.

Bell was part of a group of more than 100 dirt bikes and ATVs driving recklessly on City streets. When officers arrived on scene, a majority of the drivers fled southbound on 441. As a result of his actions, Bell crashed into a civilian vehicle, injuring himself. Upon arrival at the accident, while Officers were rendering aid they discovered a loaded handgun in Bell’s waistband. Bell’s four-wheeler was towed. He faces charges of Committing a Third Degree Felony While in Possession of a Weapon, Fleeing and Eluding, Reckless Driving, and Fail to Register Motor Vehicle.

Hollywood Police advise that being in possession of a firearm during the commission of any crime could enhance and increase charges.

In 2017, Hollywood Police towed 20 vehicles and arrested 10 reckless drivers including Wilfredo Garcia, who was taken into custody by the NYPD from charges resulting from the illegal activities that occurred during the “Bikes Up, Guns Down” ride last January. Garcia was charged with Reckless Driving and Fleeing and Eluding Police.

“Leave the bikes off the road. When you drive your illegal vehicle on city streets, you are endangering not only yourself but those around you. Don’t put innocent lives in jeopardy. There will be consequences to these careless and unsafe actions on the roads. Instead of endangering the lives other motorists and pedestrians, there are other ways to impact your community in a positive way,” said Acting Police Chief Chris O’Brien.

David Volz
David Volz
David Volz has been a reporter for Hollywood Gazette since 2011 and has worked for numerous community news publications throughout South Florida over the past two decades including the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and South Florida Business Journal. He is a Professor in the Business department at Broward College and the editor of the Coral Springs Connection, an online community news website. He covers city government, schools, sports events, cultural activities, faith groups and workplaces.

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