CMPD working to catch group of dirt bike, ATV riders accused of endangering people in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE — Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said they’re investigating a group of people accused of riding bikes, dirt bikes and ATVs recklessly around Charlotte, endangering drivers and pedestrians.

The group often rides in groups of five to 30 around the city, according to officers.

During a news conference Wednesday, CMPD said it connected two of those riders to a shooting in uptown Charlotte that left a man seriously hurt.

On April 17, police said they responded to a shooting near Romare Bearden park involving teens on bicycles. Police said cellphone video shows a victim and suspects in a fight.

Jermaine Walker Jr. and Makahi Alfayad were arrested and charged in connection with the shooting. Detectives said a bullet lodged in the victim’s spine will likely leave him paralyzed for life.

“And as the vehicle goes by, he fires four shots into the vehicle that’s occupied by our victim that struck in the spine and now looks like he’s potentially paralyzed,” said Capt. Brett Balamucki.

As detectives investigated the suspects and the group of bikers, police said they connected the groups to other violent incidents, including another shooting.

Now, as CMPD works to crack down on the reckless riding, police said several officers took part in an operation to round up several of these groups on April 24.

“They were able to start tracking individuals that they identified committing these crimes and the officers would try to do a traffic stop, then they would flee,” Balamucki said.

During the operation, investigators said they seized a total of two ATVs and two dirt bikes. Police also saw several people storing ATVs and dirt bikes in a shed behind a home.

When police went to go and talk to those people, police said one rider, identified as Joe Colombo Nguyen, 24, threw an unlit Molotov cocktail at officers and led them on a high-speed chase. Authorities said Nguyen was trying to make officers crash.

“He comes out with a bottle filled with a fluid, it’s got a wick in it, he tries to light it as he’s driving his motorcycle and he throws it at our dual sport patrol officers,” Balamucki said.

During a search warrant, officers seized another dirt bike as well as 40 pounds of marijuana, 22 grams of suspected fentanyl, a handgun and an assault rifle. Nguyen was arrested and is facing several charges.

“Officers are taking both proactive and reactive measures, taking dangerous offenders off the streets so they can no longer cause havoc on the streets of Charlotte,” CMPD said.

In the past few weeks, Chopper 9 Skyzoom has seen people from on ATVs and dirt bikes running from police.

“They mess with everyone. They drive and make a lot of noise,” resident Krissy Burwell said.

A big question many have is why they would terrorize Charlotte. Police said it may be for social media fame.

Channel 9 found a YouTube Page called “Crown Lyfe TV” posted by Nguyen.

It shows bikers weaving through traffic in Charlotte, running red lights and even blocking intersections.

Police said many times, the dirt bikes and ATV’s aren’t street-legal. CMPD said they have made 28 arrests in the last 18 months and confiscated a number of bikes and ATVs.

Authorities also said they have pursued charges against parents of underage children. They recently cited four parents.

(WATCH BELOW: Police release new details about shooting that left man seriously hurt in uptown Charlotte)

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