NASHVILLE (WSMV) - On Sunday, for the second day in a row, riders of a group of off-road vehicles ran the streets of Nashville and neighboring suburbs; blocking traffic, evading an already short-staffed Metro Police, and causing damage in their path.
Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson held a meeting with his senior team on Monday morning to address the ongoing issue. The police department says they are developing a "strategic plan" in response to the "reckless and illegal incursion on city streets by ATVs and dirt bikes."
For a large portion of Sunday afternoon, groups of ATV riders popped up in these locations across Davidson County:
- Clarksville Pike
- Dickerson Pike and Old Hickory Boulevard
- Nashboro Blvd. and Murfreesboro Pike in Donelson
- Donelson Pike
- Lebanon Pike
- Bell Road in Donelson/Hermitage
- Nolensville Pike
- Elysian Fields Road
- Haywood Lane in Antioch
- Charles E. Davis Blvd.
- Lafayette Street
- Fairfield Avenue
- Hermitage Avenue
It was at Dickerson Pike and Old Hickory Boulevard that a group of ATVs and dirt bikes weaved in and out of traffic, blocked the intersection for a period of time to burn out and came too close for comfort to many cars on the roadway.
Chief Anderson has just concluded a meeting with his senior team on the reckless & illegal incursion on city streets by ATVs & dirt bikes like that seen last weekend. A strategic plan is being developed in response to this. pic.twitter.com/B0KymG7OeW— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) March 18, 2019
It was after 4 p.m. when the largest group of off-road vehicles were spotted on Charles E. Davis Blvd. from a Metro helicopter.
In the area of Harding Pike and Elysian Fields Road, a reported hit and run accident was caused by an ATV.
Officers reportedly were unable to stop the groups as they passed by them and unable to block them into a general area. Officers noted the riders were blocking lanes and ignoring traffic patterns and signals.
In addition to the off-road vehicles themselves, trucks that hauled the vehicles were awaiting in various locations to help those on the vehicles flee from encroaching officers.
At least one unit was involved in an officer-involved wreck on Brick Church Pike, and another unit experienced a flat tire during the manhunt.
As soon as officers approached any area all afternoon, the vehicles would flee the scene. The North Precinct had the situation reportedly under control around 5:30 p.m. and any remaining groups since disappeared.
The FOP in an earlier statement to News4 about Saturday's incident where one Metro officer was dragged down Broadway in an attempt to stop the vehicle called their acts a "blantant disregard for the safety of our community and those who serve it" adding that "it cannot be tolerated."
The FOP has been critical of situations going on within Metro Police after the Daniel Hambrick shooting incident, the creation of the Community Oversight Board, and the report that Metro Police is short at least 100 officers.
The FOP took to Twitter on Sunday night to address those on social media who blamed Officer John Bourque for grabbing the ATV during Saturday's incident posting a blurry video saying "Should we blame the officer for not laying down in front of the ATV now?"
Lots of keyboard warriors out there trying to blame the officer for grabbing the atv. This video paints a different picture. Should we blame the officer for not laying down in front of the atv now? @WKRN @WSMV @NC5 @FOXNashville pic.twitter.com/J6IqzBGJTd— Andrew Jackson Lodge #5 FOP (@LODGE5FOP) March 17, 2019
Mayor David Briley reportedly spoke with Officer Bourque after the incident and his office released a brief statement:
The safety of our police is a top concern for the Mayor and he is monitoring the situation closely.
Read our original story by clicking the link below:
Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.