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Hermosa Beach police crack down on electric bike riders

Hermosa Beach police cite 51 people, impound 9 electric motorcycles in e-bike crackdown
Hermosa Beach police cite 51 people, impound 9 electric motorcycles in e-bike crackdown 03:09

South Bay police departments are forming a task force to stop people from recklessly riding electronic bikes and motorcycles. 

The Hermosa Beach Police Department was one of the agencies that conducted a crackdown this month after residents lodged complaints about the riders going dangerously fast and harassing some passersby. 

Resident Richard Roe is one of the residents fed up with the riders. 

"When they go through at a high speed ... I don't care if they're 12 or 80, I say, 'Hey buddy, why don't you slow down," he said. 

Roe sometimes stands on The Strand, the beachfront sidewalk spanning down the coast in the South Bay, reminding people to slow down. He's had two confrontations with teen riders in the last three months.

"He got right to my face with his back. He did a wheelie," Roe recalled happening during one of the confrontations. "He had the wheel no farther than six inches from my nose. Any little mistake, he would have hit me."

Since Hermosa Beach police started cracking down this month, they have issued 51 citations to riders. Last weekend, investigators cited a rider and their parents after they were seen driving dangerously fast and damaging a city mural. Officers impounded the e-motorcycle, which are becoming more common even though they are illegal to drive on city streets. 

"They fall under the same criteria under motor vehicles," Traffic Officer Keaton Dadigan said. "Just like you have to register your car with the DMV to get your license, registration and insurance, it's going to be the same with those motorcycles."

So far this month, police have impounded nine e-motorcycles. Dadigan said officers have gone to schools to educate kids on safety. He added that they typically give warnings first before issuing citations or impounding. 

"We try to write warnings as much as we can, but it comes to a point," he said. "When there is reckless behavior ... We will write citations and impound bikes. 

Hermosa is also teaming up with Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach police to form a task force. While admitting that e-bikes are good for the community, some residents believe only a small group of teens are causing many of the issues. 

For Roe, who admits he threatened to mace the teen who harassed him, he blames the parents. 

"You have to know what your kids are doing," he said. 

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