CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) – It’s a problem that’s plagued Charlotte streets for years: kids on bicycles taking over the road and antagonizing drivers, sometimes committing acts of vandalism.
Now, Queen City News is learning the issue may be more widespread.
Our story about a couple terrified after encountering one group has garnered hundreds of comments online, calling the teens destructive, saying they terrorize people.
In the same story shared in Winston-Salem, people said they wouldn’t come to Charlotte because of it, while others said the same thing is happening there.
“Yes, we are aware of that,” said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Major Brian Foley. “We know that that’s a problem. We have made some arrests in some instances.”
CMPD says they recognize that scenes like this are a public safety issue for everyone involved, but tackling the problem itself isn’t straightforward.
“It’s not as simple as grabbing people off of bikes or being able to stop them at a certain location,” he said. “It’s complex.”
The District Attorney’s Juvenile Team supervisor isn’t aware of cases stemming from incidents like this, but we’ve heard from multiple people who say the group or groups have hit their cars or have run into them.
“If your kid is out there riding a bicycle and he gets hit by a car […] they always blame the motorist, then they blame the police,” Foley said. “Parents are responsible. Folks talk about this over and over again. Where are your kids? What are they doing? If you don’t know, you should know.”
CMPD said they want the public to communicate with them when the incidents happen, but Queen City News has heard from drivers who have said police witness the activity and do nothing about it.