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Philadelphia police looking for person they say intentionally struck officer with ATV on I-95

Police searching for suspect accused of intentionally hitting officer with ATV on I-95 in Philly
Police searching for suspect accused of intentionally hitting officer with ATV on I-95 in Philly 02:02

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia police are still looking for the person they say intentionally hit an officer's motorbike on I-95 Tuesday night, sending him to the hospital. 

It is the latest incident in the ongoing issue surrounding illegal vehicles in Philadelphia. 

When it comes to ATVs and illegal dirt bikes in the city, people didn't mince words on the subject. 

"They're a nuisance. They're dangerous. The way people use them out in the streets, it's a problem," Barry Canady, of South Philly, said.

The officer, who was working with the ATV and dirt bike detail, followed the rider after they veered away from a group of 50-60 ATVs driving down I-95, police said. The officer was struck near the Walt Whitman Bridge/Packer Avenue ramp on I-95 North, police said.

The officer who was struck has been released from the hospital, according to police.

"Our best shot to get these is when they break down or when they run out of gas, so he was doing that. The rider took evasive action and actually intentionally rammed the officer, knocking him off his dirt bike," Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner Mike Cram said.

Police are still looking for that rider after determining the person they originally picked up was not the person of interest.

"People are putting other people's lives above for their selfish wants — not even needs — and it's really scary," said Michael Wieland, who works in Philadelphia.

Earlier this year, Mayor Cherelle Parker's administration announced a new directive cracking down on illegal dirt bikes and ATVs.

Philadelphia police data show more than 120 illegal vehicles were confiscated in the first three months of this year.

Dozens of dirt bikes and ATVs that have been confiscated, lined up in a big space
Philadelphia Police have confiscated 122 illegal vehicles so far this year.  CBS News Philadelphia

"The mayor has made it known that this is going to be a priority moving forward, which is sort of different than it was in the previous administration," Councilmember Mark Squilla.

Squilla has voiced concerns over illegal vehicles for years.

He said he looks forward to working with the Parker administration and police on this new directive.

"We want you to understand you're not allowed to ride these vehicles on the street, and if we do catch you, not only will we confiscate you, but there will be charges filed for that action, and that's something new," Squilla said.

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