PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence police say they witnessed at least 20 people flee from a playground on Aleppo Street Sunday afternoon after more than 50 individuals riding dirt bikes and ATVs stormed through the park.
One of the bikers, 26-year-old Christian Carrasco, was arrested after losing control of his bike near Manton Avenue, according to an incident report. Carrasco was charged with possession of a four-inch pocket knife and will face environmental penalties for riding the dirt bike in a park and operating the bike without a license.
According to the report, police were waived down by a woman near the 700 block of Manton Avenue around 5 p.m. Sunday. The woman pointed toward the pack of bikers on a nearby bike and walking path. Police said they observed adults grabbing their children and running in fear as between 50 and 75 bikers sped by.
The group then turned into Riverside Playground near several families with small children. The bikers then sped down Manton Avenue as police followed them.
“There’s no need for recklessness like at the playground,” said Calvin Young, a father of three from Providence who brought his children to the playground on Monday. “Very upsetting. There’s no need to come through a park…it’s putting people’s lives in danger.”
City Councilman Michael Correia, who represents the neighborhood where the incident happened, said he received several calls about it from constituents over the weekend. He said he plans to send a letter to Providence Police asking them to enforce the city’s ordinance on recreational vehicles.
According to the ordinance, certain recreational vehicles like ATVs are not permitted on city streets, sidewalks or in parks. A sign at Riverside Park also says all motorized vehicles are prohibited from the park and bike path.
Lindsay Lague, a spokesperson for the police department, said police are working to crack down on the problem.
Carrasco was the only person charged.