Cruising through the streets and sidewalks of San Francisco and disregarding traffic laws and pedestrian safety in the process, a dirt-bike gang known as Bay Area Supermoto (BASM) has for months been a thorn in the side of the San Francisco Police Department. In an unexpected twist it now turns out that the group's leader may in fact be a Marin County Sheriff's Deputy, and SFPD is not happy.
“They meet at the marina, at the yacht club, usually Friday night,” a self-proclaimed former rider told CBS 5. “It’s almost a sport. It is a sport. It's how many dangerous maneuvers can you pull, how good are you at riding and not wrecking your bike into these cars and things that are around you."
An investigation by the news channel points strongly to the claim that the leader of the group is Zack Schlief. The Marin County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to the channel that Schlief is a deputy with the department.
“It puts everyone in danger,” SFPD Officer Carlos Manfredi told CBS 5. “They are riding without any regard for public safety. They’re doing wheelies, performing stunts throughout the city. It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.”
Of the possible group leader's status as a law enforcement office, Officer Manfredi was none too pleased.
“We took an oath, to serve and protect, and that oath doesn’t stop when our shift ends.”
As for Schlief, he denies leading the rides. However, video shot by CBS 5 appears to show him speaking to a group of riders about being the leader.
“Everyone new welcome, if you have never been on big rides before, it’s a lot of fun," the video depicts Schlief saying. "When you are the one that is leading the ride, like me and him, it’s like fucking herding cats."
The actions of BASM call to mind the wonderfully named "Chicken Shit" dirt bike gang that just last summer ripped through the Haight. At the time, SFPD Captain John Sanford said that they were unable to do anything about the group as pursuing them through city streets was too dangerous.
It will be interesting to see if SFPD feels the same now that the gang in question is allegedly run by a fellow officer.