CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – The videos and the stories have made headlines for months.
They’ve centered on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s efforts to address ‘bike gangs’ around various parts of the Queen City.
Over the weekend, CMPD conducted an operation, charging people in those groups with breaking the law. Some were juveniles, but at least one was an adult, Richard Flood.
“I may not be considered a kid, but a lot of people I do ride with are younger, and we don’t come here intending to hurt anybody,” said Flood.
Flood showed Queen City News videos of interactions with officers and the public — an officer demanding they stop as they said they were heading home, a car going backward at a high rate of speed, and another stopping in the middle of the street.
Flood said the actions of a few are painting everyone in a bad light.
“I don’t justify everyone’s actions,” he said. “But at the same time, I don’t know what happened in those scenarios because I wasn’t there.”
CMPD said this week that Flood was a notable arrest.
“With Richard Flood, in particular, he — most of the time — leads the ride-outs, and we observed him on multiple different occasions riding recklessly.”
Flood admitted to doing “wheelies” on his bikes but noted that riding defensively has become the norm for a group he said just wants to ride their bikes around town.
“There’s been multiple times when drunk drivers have pulled us off the road; we’ve had guns pulled on us,” said Flood. “I’ve gotten personally maced by somebody that I didn’t even know, and he (drove away) after he did it.”
However, those claims come with others from others Queen City News has spoken with.
“They jumped me; they beat me up. They ran my pockets; they took my phone, my wallet, my car keys, and my car,” said one victim.
“One of the youngest ones actually got off this bike and started picking up rocks off the side of the road and at his full strength just started hurling them at the car,” said another.
CMPD said Flood was a part of the groups causing problems. He faces charges related to a hit and run that left a victim with a severe brain injury. CMPD also believes the groups were responsible for a shooting at Romare Bearden Park.
Flood believes he is the face of the bike groups because of his record.
“Everybody has been coming and telling (CMPD) to do something, but they don’t know what to do, so they’re coming at all of us at once,” Flood said.