Dirt bike rider crashes into car; assaults driver

The driver of an illegal dirt bike plowed through a red light at a West Baltimore intersection on Wednesday and broadsided a red sedan, but the most serious injuries suffered by the car’s driver didn’t come from the crash, according to city police.

A department spokesman said a passenger on the dirt bike quickly hid the cycle in an alley and then returned with friends who beat up the car’s driver so severely that he had to be rushed to Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

The car is above in a photo by The Sun's Jed Kirschbaum.

The teen-aged bike passenger was arrested and faces charges of assault. The driver of the bike was catapulted in the crash and suffered broken bones to his arm and wrist, said police spokesman Donny Moses. He also has been admitted to Shock Trauma and faces charges related to motor vehicle infractions and driving an illegal dirt bike, Moses said.

Conditions on the patients were not immediately available.

Wednesday’s accident at South Monroe and West Pratt streets is the latest involving an illegal dirt bike, which are prevalent during the hot summer months. Teens and others typically ride in packs, threatening pedestrians and other motorists as they race and perform wheelies and other stunts in traffic.

A 44-year-old motorcyclist from Greenbelt was killed Sunday after he crashed into a pole at Gilmor and Fayette streets when he lost control swerving to avoid a dirt bike whose operator was carrying a 2-year-old child.

Dirt bikes are nearly impossible for city police to stop. Officers are forbidden to chase them because it’s deemed too dangerous and have to rely on other means to combat the problem. The helicopter often follows groups around and notifies officers on the ground when they stop.

Police in some districts hand out fliers urging residents if they see a dirt bike parked in their neighborhood that they should call police. And a new law takes effect Oct. 1 that makes it illegal for gas station owners to dispense gas to dirt bikes. Also, Moses said officers have heard of gas station owners charging extra fees to fill dirt bike tanks.

The latest crash occurred about 11:30 a.m. Moses said the dirt bike driver, whose name and age was not immediately released, was driving south on Monroe Street and ran a light at Pratt. After the crash, which dented the driver’s side door of the red sedan, Moses said the passenger pushed the dirt bike into an alley and hid it in an open stairwell basement.

Moses said the youth returned with friends and beat the car’s driver until police arrived a few minutes later. Officers also retrieved the dirt bike. Of the car’s driver, Moses said, “Most of his injuries came as a result of the assault and not of the accident.”

“Dirt bikes are an obvious problem that we’re working tirelessly to abate,” Moses said.

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