A 25-year-old man was arrested in Providence after he crashed an ATV on Atwells Avenue in front of police officers.
Authorities said Ruddy Rodriguez drove alongside officers while erratically driving the ATV through Federal Hill Wednesday night. He was laughing and hollered, “You’ll never catch me or stop me!”
Rodriguez, who police said was part of a group of 10 to 15 people driving illegal vehicles through the city, then sped through a red light before mounting the sidewalk, with several pedestrians quickly running out of the way.
"Rodriguez continued driving in the same manner, eluding police, and eventually came into collision with a large cement potted plant that was on the sidewalk in front of Venda Ravioli Restaurant, as well as a large traffic control box, which was also on the sidewalk," police said.
Rodriguez was arrested on the following charges:
- Reckless driving
- Eluding police
- Two counts of malicious mischief/property damage
Rodriguez was held and scheduled for a later court appearance.
The arrest comes about six months after the Providence Police Department vowed to confiscate, and then destroy, ATVs if they find anyone riding them on city streets or parks.
Since then, Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare told NBC 10 News officers have seized more than 40 vehicles and expect to confiscate more as the weather gets warmer.
"We're going to be prepared and we'll throw the resources at it to combat it and rid those kinds of vehicles," Pare said. "Buyers, beware. Don't purchase these things unless you have a place where you're gonna ride these. And it's probably not going to be in the city of Providence. "
Mayor Jorge Elorza previously told NBC 10 that action is necessary, as the use of the vehicles has been "jeopardizing safety or kids and family in our neighborhood."