By Dan Bader and Nicole Bode
DNAinfo.com New York Staff
HUNTS POINT — A dirt bike rider was killed and his passenger arrested after an NYPD cruiser rear-ended them in Hunts Point on Saturday afternoon, police said.
The crash happened shortly after noon on Saturday, when cops spotted Adalberto Gonzalez, 26, of The Bronx, riding a dirt bike with no license plates and wearing no helmet, going the wrong way down a one way street, according to the criminal complaint. Gonzalez had caused at least one car to swerve out of the way, then drove onto the sidewalk, the complaint says.
The officers, who are from the 41st Precinct's Conditions Unit, were doing a quality of life sweep and did not give chase, cops said. But police spotted Gonzalez soon after, parked at Randall Avenue and Faile Street, where they aproached him on foot, cops said.
According to the complaint, Gonzalez drove the bike off the sidewalk and crashed on the street. Gonzalez then allegedly fled on foot down Randall Street to Coster Street and hopped on the back of an unregistered Honda dirt bike with an unnamed 28-year-old driver, cops said.
As the pair drove away, an NYPD car driving on Randall Street hit it from behind, sending both passengers flying off the bike, cops said. Police said it may have been a different unit responding, but could not confirm whether or not it was the same officers that had been doing the sweep.
The 28-year-old driver was taken to Lincoln Hospital where he died. His name was not released Sunday because his family had not yet been notified, police said.
Gonzalez suffered minor scrapes and was arrested at the scene on charges of reckless endangerment, obstructing governmental administration, fleeing from police, and resisting arrest, police said. He was arraigned on Monday, and family members posted bail that was set at $15,000 cash or $7,500 bond. The case returns to court September 12.
The crash comes in the wake of mounting frustration by Hunts Point residents over what they say is an out-of-control culture of rogue dirt bike riders who tear through the area with impunity. Locals say bike riders often ride onto sidewalks, weave through traffic, and threaten drivers and pedestrians, but that police are barred from pursuing the bikers for fear of creating additional safety hazards.
Lt. Hamilton Nuñez, a representative from the 41st Precinct, told community residents in June that his officers stop reckless or unregistered riders whenever it’s safe to do so, but said at the time that the precinct's ability to pursue the bikers was limited.
“The department’s policy is they don’t want us chasing them,” Nuñez said at the time, “A kid spills, kills himself — we get blamed for it.”