Just a few days ago, we were all taking about "Chicken Shit," the dirt bike gang that's taken over areas like the Haight, Market Street, and Russian Hill to break traffic laws, pop wheelies, and do burnouts just inches from pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles. Though the San Francisco Police Department wouldn't talk to us about the miscreants — in fact, they pled ignorance — KTVU had better luck getting the cops to address the issue. But here's the bad news: police say they can't do a thing to break up the riders' dangerous displays.
Thought police say that "the complaints are pouring in" over dirt bike sideshows, like this one on Haight last weekend:
Park Station's new head, Captain John Sanford says that police "are not authorized to chase these individuals on the motorcycles."
Saying that a police pursuit can be dangerous (which we all too sadly know is true), Sanford says that "somebody will end up dead that way."
"Chasing them through the street just puts too many people in danger and we're not going to take that risk," Sanford says.
SFPD Chief Greg Suhr concurs, saying that "Rather than physically chase them to get them at the moment, we're going to have to do some investigation and get them at a later date, when it's safe to do so."
One must wonder how late that later date will be — as I noted earlier this week, I saw this same gang try to take over Market Street near Civic Center six weeks ago, and others say they've seen the riders pulling these same shenanigans in SF long before then.
Suhr does admit that at a meeting this week, several of SFPD's district captains expressed frustration with the gang's unchecked antics. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that Sanford is one of them, as he told KTVU that the riders are "driving through traffic. They will often drive on the sidewalk. They will drive near officers."
"They're just creating a very, very hazardous situation."