Police officer dragged by ATV as 100 off-road drivers illegally take over Nashville streets

Police officer dragged by ATV as 100 off-road drivers illegally take over Nashville streets
Officials say Sgt. John Bourque was dragged into a gate by one of the ATV drivers. The sergeant received minor injuries and was treated then released from the hospital. (Source: Andrew Weyer/WTVF/CNN)

NASHVILLE (WTVF/CNN) - For multiple days in a row, Nashville police say an estimated 100 drivers on dirt bikes, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and four-wheelers wove in and out of moving and parked vehicles, endangering motorists and pedestrians alike.

Officers said in a press release one of the vehicles that “illegally took over” a major Nashville road Saturday afternoon struck Sgt. John Bourque, who was dragged into a gate. The sergeant received minor injuries and was treated then released from the hospital.

The suspects fled the scene. Police are asking for help identifying the driver who hit Bourque.

An Uber driver on the scene, who didn’t want to be named, thought he was going to get hit, too.

"It was just nuts,” he said. "I was just driving down on Broadway, headed towards the river. I just saw a ton of ATVs and dirt bikes, coming down the road, doing wheelies and burning out."

The Fraternal Order of Police said in a statement that “the lawlessness” injured several officers and cost taxpayers thousands. (Source: Andrew Weyer/WTVF/CNN)
The Fraternal Order of Police said in a statement that “the lawlessness” injured several officers and cost taxpayers thousands. (Source: Andrew Weyer/WTVF/CNN)

There were a lot of tourists in downtown Nashville for the Southeastern Conference tournament, and others were out celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

The Uber driver says he’s shocked more people weren’t hurt.

"They were pretty wild, wild and all over the place. They all had masks on over their faces, and really reckless,” he said. “They seemed like a pretty rambunctious crew.”

On Sunday, the chaos continued. LaShonda Parks-Bailey says she watched as one of the ATVs crashed into her son’s car while they were on their way to church.

"He lost control of the four-wheeler, and it flipped over on the hood of my son’s car," she explained. "They ran up the street. He got on a bike with another one of the riders, and a black truck pulled up, scooped everything up. They just went on about their way, like nothing ever happened."

Parks-Bailey says she’s grateful nobody was seriously injured, but she estimated the damage done to the car was around $3,000. She worries if nothing is done to stop the riders, things will get worse.

Pursuit of the suspects has proven difficult because ATVs can easily weave through traffic as well as on and off the roadways. (Source: WTVF/CNN)
Pursuit of the suspects has proven difficult because ATVs can easily weave through traffic as well as on and off the roadways. (Source: WTVF/CNN)

"They're putting not only themselves in danger but innocent bystanders," she said. “I like justice, peace and safety, and these guys are disturbing all of that.”

The Fraternal Order of Police said in a statement that “the lawlessness” injured several officers and cost taxpayers thousands.

Pursuit of the suspects has proven difficult because ATVs can easily weave through traffic as well as on and off the roadways.

Mayor David Briley says the safety of the police is a top concern for him, and he is monitoring the situation closely.

Copyright 2019 WTVF, Metro Nashville Police Department, Andrew Weyer, LaShonda Parks-Bailey via CNN. All rights reserved.