Boy, 4, is in critical condition after being struck by a dirt bike in a hit-and-run after he darted out from between two cars in a Queens parking lot
- Illegal dirt bike slams into boy Sunday at Flushing Meadows Corona Park Boathouse
- Johnathan Beauchamp rushed to Cohen Children’s Medical Center with severe head trauma
- Dirt bikes are illegal in NYC, but residents say the two-wheeled vehicles ‘going back and forth’
- City councilman proposes $750 penalty for first offense, $1,500 for second
A four-year-old boy is in critical condition after a dirt bike struck him Sunday at the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Boathouse parking lot in Queens, New York.
Johnathan Beauchamp was at boathouse’s parking lot with his parents just before 6 p.m. when he ran out from in between two parked cars.
A rider on an illegal dirt bike then struck the child and did not stop.
Johnathan Beauchamp suffered severe head trauma after the dirt biker struck him on Sunday. He is receiving care at Cohen Children’s Medical Center
Police are investigating the hit-and-run incident, which took place at the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Boathouse parking lot
This footage shows the pervasive problem dirt bikes have become in New York City as group ride the illegal bikes in the streets
Beauchamp was rushed to the Cohen Children’s Medical Center with severe head trauma.
“Dirt bikes going back and forth, there was so much going on, we didn’t realize somebody got hit until the ambulance came,” witness Harold Hadalgo told ABC 7.
Back in May, the NYPD announced a crackdown on illegal vehicles across the city. On Monday, the NYPD’s 110th Precinct, which covers the park, tweeted:
“Recent collisions with operators of illegal dirt bikes and ATVs have lead to fatalities & serious injuries. These motor vehicles are illegal & shouldn’t be operated on NYC roads. If you drive these illegal dirt bikes & ATVs, they will be confiscated & you will be arrested.”
“The NYPD has been very aggressive. If one’s out there, it’s immediately illegal. It’s just not allowed in New York City and we will destroy them, literally, and send a message to people,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
Residents had recently called on elected officials to increase penalties for those illegally riding dirt bikes and ATVs.
Officers are not allowed to pursue people on these vehicles, but they usually trail the riders and wait for them at gas stations.
Officials said eight people have been killed and 350 others have been injured by illegal bikes in the first quarter of this year.
Mark Gjonaj, a Democratic city councilmember from the Bronx, is proposing a bill to increase penalties to $750 for first time offenders and $1,500 for second offenses.
Gjonaj added that the vehicles have been connected to several crimes in the city, including a carjacking and shooting on the George Washington Bridge by a group of dirt bike riders last week, NY1 reports.
“It’s becoming a weapon and means of escape, knowing that no one will chase you. The image that it really presents is that we are in a city of lawlessness,” said Gjonaj.
No arrests have been made yet in the Beauchamp incident.