Watch CBS News

Modesto Bike Group Say Police Went 'Too Far'

MODESTO (CBS13) – Hundreds of cyclists made their way through Modesto streets this past Saturday for a bike-riding event organized by the 209 Rippers bike group.

"It was just to get the kids together in a community-style event as safely as possible and having fun along the way," Kyle Brown, a leader of the 209 Rippers, said.

Sara Vanaman Munson's son Dakota took part in the event that did not go as planned.

"It's an event where people from all over California come up, track out a bike ride and they ride it, it's giant," Vanaman Munson said.

According to the Modesto Police Department, the group was breaking traffic laws and blocking vehicles. Officers say they even tried to stop one cyclist who took off and then spit on them when they took them into custody.

Helicopter video shows the chaotic Modesto streets.

"The footage shows the kids running away but doesn't show the cops chasing them," Vanaman Munson said.

Jared Garrett, a member of the 209 Rippers, says the police "started grabbing people off bikes. They're chasing kids and running them off roads."

In a video obtained by CBS13, a Modesto police officer can be seen riding a motorcycle on neighborhood sidewalks before a squad car speeds past the group.

"They started sending motorcycles through our crowd at 30-40 miles per hour," Garrett said.

In a post on Facebook, the Modesto Police Department says officers were able to issue 14 citations and arrest five cyclists.

But for Sara and her son, the police took it a step too far.

"Chasing hundreds of kids down the middle of a four-lane street in the middle of the day on Saturday is not the answer. It's not that the kids didn't need to get reprimanded or talked to it's just the way about that it went," Vanaman Munson said.

The Modesto Police Department wrote on Facebook, "We are hopeful at some point soon members of this group will be willing to have a meaningful conversation with us."

The 209 Rippers tell us they have spoken to Modesto police in the past and are open to continuing the dialogue. Modesto police were at the Saturday event handing out helmets before it started and they do support the event's purpose, but say rules do need to be followed.

Modesto police were not available for an interview on Monday.

More from CBS Sacramento:

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.