By Tom Winter, Lisa Riordan Seville, and Andrew Blankstein
NEW YORK — A new and dangerous breed of motorcycle gang is popping up around the country, say authorities, as packs of young bikers on high-speed “crotch rockets” barrel down crowded highways performing stunts, weaving through traffic and taunting police, all for a few minutes of Internet glory.
These “crotch rocket” gangs film their exploits, which can include altercations with motorists and the law, and then post videos on YouTube. Police in New York City have arrested several men after video surfaced on the Web of a Sunday incident in which bikers surrounded and beat an SUV driver in Manhattan. The bikers had been taking part in an underground event called Hollywood Stuntz, in which bikers assembled en masse on city streets to perform wheelies and other stunts.
And police say they have trouble stopping the bikers, because their machines are so fast and maneuverable that it’s unsafe to chase them through traffic. Sgt. Brian Brophy of the New York State Police said that officers will stop pursuits of fast bikes when it’s judged too dangerous. “As a trooper you end up terminating these pursuits a lot yourself, for the safety of the public, yourself and the biker,” he said.