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GRPD: Arrest video is safest way to address reckless motorcyclists

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Posted at 3:31 PM, May 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-10 18:12:46-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — In his very first week as Chief, Eric Winstrom with Grand Rapids Police noticed a common complaint.

“Literally from the second day I started working here, I have been getting emails and phone calls from community members, just absolutely livid. What they see this as is lawlessness from community members,” said Chief Winstrom.

The people calling are mad about biker groups that they say drive through town dangerously and recklessly.

“The illegal activity by these riders, really terrorizes the people downtown, terrorizing people in residential neighborhoods, is something we take very seriously,” said Chief Winstrom.

Chief Winstrom is committed to doing something about those types of reckless drivers. This is exactly what he says happened in a video people have seen thousands of times showing an arrest made by GRPD on Burton and Division.

“Attempted to stop him, and he drove away at a high rate of speed," Winstrom said.

High-speed chases on motorcycles are not something GRPD does. It's dangerous for the driver, the officer and the public.

“It really gives us very limited options to take enforcement action,” Winstrom said.

Instead, reckless drivers must be stopped when they are at intersections or gas stations.

The officer removed the man from the motorbike to get their hand off the throttle, avoiding another dangerous situation.

"I thought he did a very good job,” said Chief Winstrom.

Also seen in the video, someone driving an ATV, which are never street legal in Grand Rapids under any circumstances.

If you have information about the ATV driver, who at one point drives towards police officers, you can contact GRPD at 616-456-3400 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

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