Chaos breaks out during funeral for well-known ATV rider

Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Chaos breaks out during funeral for well-known ATV rider
Chaos breaks out during funeral for well-known ATV rider. Dann Cuellar has more on Action News at 11 p.m. on June 11, 2019.

PENNSAUKEN TOWNSHIP, N.J. (WPVI) -- These illegal ATV and dirt bike riders have their followers.

But chaos broke out when many of them showed up in their ATVs and dirt bikes for the funeral of a popular rider from Camden that was being held in nearby Pennsauken on Tuesday.

Pennsauken police got tangled with mourners who showed up in large numbers to pay respects to one of their fellow riders, 34-year-old David Rivera. Two people were arrested. A number of vehicles confiscated by Pennsauken and Camden police.

"Today we had quite a number of ATVs rolling through the city terrorizing residents and neighborhoods," said Camden County Police Lt. Zsakhiem James.

Police say many riders tend to drive recklessly through the streets endangering themselves and others. Rivera himself was killed when he crashed into a tractor-trailer rig last Monday going 50 to 60 miles an hour at 2nd and Erie at 9:30 in the morning. Although she mourns his loss, his own sister is upset with him.

"He didn't value life as much as he should have and it's crazy," said Maria Rivera.

A number of residents in Camden are critical of how many ATV and dirt bike users ride recklessly through the streets. One video sent to us by Camden County police shows an ATV rider losing control of his vehicle and slamming into a parked car.

"They run reckless, it's not only for the kids, but the cars that's passing by, you don't see them until it's too late and then if you hit them it's your fault not theirs," said Camden resident Elliott Torres.

And Nicola Hernandez said, "They're tearing up the parks. They come in here and they do ride around wheelies and they're tearing up the parks."

Camden's mayor and other officials have had enough and recently announced a new bill that calls for stricter penalties for illegal use of ATVs and dirt bikes. Fines of up to $1,000 for the first offense and confiscation of their vehicles for up to seven days. Police are also asking the public to report illegal activity by using the Stop It app.

"It's on the Google Play store, it's on the App Store for your iPhone, the access code is Camden NJ," said Lt. James.

Ultimately a number of people in Camden, including Rivera's brother believe ATV and dirt bike riders need their own designated place to ride.

"They don't have any place, they gotta ride out on the street, they need their own place and we need to get them their own place," said Alejandro Ruberte.

A number of residents we spoke with today also support the idea of a designated place to use ATVs and dirt bikes.