Mass. Residents Arrested for Riding ATVs, Dirt Bikes in Hartford

Over the last two weekends, police have arrested four people who they said came from Massachusetts and brought their ATVs or dirt bikes to ride them in Hartford, which is illegal to do on city roadways. 

“It is illegal, both under state law and by local ordinance, to ride these quads, these ATVs, on our city streets and our cops are going to be very, very serious about enforcing that law," Hartford mayor Luke Bronin said.

Police said they are concerned that riders are coming from across state lines.

“All residents from Springfield, Mass. that are taking UHauls, in both cases, driving them down here in Hartford, unloading them here in the city and then riding around and then heading back," Deputy Chief Brian Foley, of the Hartford Police Department, said.

NBC Connecticut saw a rider on an ATV along Curcombe Street on Monday afternoon and flagged him down to speak with us, but he rode off.

It's a similar problem police face when they want to speak with riders, who are quick to leave the scene.

Carmen Plaza said ATVs dangerous for drivers, like her, especially if they're driving recklessly.

“They get into the way of traffic, I don’t know. I get so scared when I see them, I really do,” Plaza said. 

Police told NBC Connecticut the trend has sparked their attention and they plan to be out in full force this weekend.

Lewis Canby, of Hartford, is a fan of dirt bikes and said there’s another idea the city could consider.

“I think that they should be allowed to do it, but only when, like, say you get like a permit or something to do it on a certain road. You know, or something like that. Somewhere where it’s sanctioned," Canby said.

The mayor said his focus is getting these bikes off the streets of Hartford.

“We really need residents to make sure that they're calling with tips, especially if they know where these vehicles are being stored or kept," Bronin said.

The four people arrested over the last two weekends have been given a promise to appear.

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