Crackdown on illegal ATV usage results in nearly 20 arrests

NEWINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s called swarming. Hundreds of ATV’S gather on the weekends and travel from town-to-town, city-to-city, riding recklessly in the streets.

In the past, Deputy Chief Brian Foley says it’s the number one complaint at community meetings. “It’s innocent lives we are concerned about. It’s a nuisance issue and the safety of the innocent lives that we are looking to protect.”

So Newington pulled together and led a region wide ATV task force. From Hartford to Wethersfield, from New Britain to State Police and the Feds. Together they have made nearly 20 arrests.

People from all over the state from places Ansonia, Shelton, Hartford, Bloomfield, Newington and South Windsor have been arrested. Investigators have seized dozens of ATV’s, motorcycles, cars, and trucks as evidence of these crimes.

Foley says in the past the biggest problem was that officers would pull behind an ATV that was illegally on the streets. They throw on the lights and sirens and the ATV takes off. Popping up on the curb, weaving in and out of traffic, making it even more dangerous for pedestrians and drivers so they turned to a different tactic lots of surveillance to get out ahead of it.

“We need new and creative ways we need to try and get rid of this problem,” said Foley.

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