BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Buffalo police say some of their officers were shot at overnight Friday, while responding to a call of illegal motorbikes on Buffalo's east side.
About 1:15 a.m. Friday, police say they were called to Walden and Harmonia for the motorbike call.
When police got there, they say one person in the group of reckless riders took off on-foot with police in pursuit.
A second individual on a motorbike then began to drive towards the pursuing officers and the fleeing suspect. The operator of the motorbike then stopped and allegedly began to shoot in the direction of the officers with a handgun.
No police were hit. But the first suspect, who was attempting to run from the police, was hit in the knee by a bullet. The shooter fled the scene on his motorbike.
The injured suspect was treated and released with non-life-threatening injuries
Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo said the person who was struck was in the group of illegal motorbike operators.
Tuesday, BPD announced a 25-year-old Steven Werts of Buffalo was arrested in connection with the incident and charged with criminal
possession of a weapon.
BREAKING: BPD announce arrest of 25 year old Buffalo male in connection with officers shot at incident including one civilian struck by gunfire on August 21st near Walden Avenue & Harmonia at approximately 1:30am.— Buffalo Police Dept (@BPDAlerts) August 25, 2020
Police have not released the names of the officers involved or the suspects at this point.
If you have any information, you are asked to call the Buffalo Police Confidential Tip Line at 847-2255.
The illegal use of dirt bikes, ATV's, and motorbikes on city streets is a problem many cities are facing. "I don't know if people are bored or if they buy these and just don't know how to use them," said Captain Rinaldo.
Buffalo Police are trying to crack-down on the 'reckless riders' by warning them when they see groups of the off-road vehicles congregating at places like gas stations.
The dangerous riding is creating a life-threatening situation as motorists are startled when they are swarmed by the illegal operators.
"They are not wearing helmets and they are doing 'wheelies,'" explained a woman from Hamburg who recently filmed a 'swarm' of ATV's and dirt bikes after they surrounded her car while she was driving on Niagara Street in downtown Buffalo.
Police warn the 'reckless riding' is not only breaking the law, it is causing serious injuries to those who are illegally operating the vehicles.
"What we have also seen this summer is a number of incidents where people are getting severely injured because they are striking buildings, cars, and light poles. They are not meant for city streets," explained Captain Rinaldo.