Woman pulled from car, attacked by mob of dirt bike, ATV riders, officials say
(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) — Police are investigating after a mob of ATV and dirt bike riders allegedly pulled a woman out of her car and beat her in a late-night attack in Providence, Rhode Island — the latest incident in what officials are saying is a spate of “out of control” violence.
The incident happened Tuesday night, officials from the mayor’s office said. Around 11:30 p.m., the 35-year-old victim had honked her horn at a group of ATV and dirt bike riders after they failed to move through two green lights, according to ABC Providence affiliate WLNE.
As she drove away, the group surrounded her car and several riders opened the driver’s side door, dragged her onto the street and began assaulting her, according to WLNE.
Cellphone video obtained by WLNE showed the woman on her knees in the street while an assailant repeatedly punched her.
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said the woman was “shaken and injured” in the “awful incident.”
The ATV and dirt bike riders reportedly fled.
The victim hurt her head and knees but did not need to be hospitalized, according to the Providence Journal. The paper reported that the driver’s friend and the friend’s 8-year-old daughter were in the car at the time of the attack.
ABC News has reached out to the Providence Police Department for updates on the incident.
The assault is the latest in a string of violence that has plagued the capital city, including a drive-by shooting Sunday that fatally killed a 24-year-old woman, leading to calls for stronger enforcement.
On Friday, Providence City Council President John Igliozzi sent a letter to Gov. Dan McKee requesting that Rhode Island State Police troopers be deployed to the city to assist police in confronting the crime wave.
“As you know, the headlines regarding crime in the city of Providence over the last few weeks have been shocking — murders, drive-by shootings, stabbings, gang incidents and roving throngs of ATV and dirt bike riders terrorizing our neighborhoods,” Igliozzi wrote.
“This wave of violent crime is unacceptable, and we need to act immediately to restore public safety and make our city’s residents once again feel safe walking and sitting outside in their own neighborhoods,” the letter continued, which pointed to a lack of staffing in the police department as an issue.
“The gun violence, the physical attacks and reckless behavior of individuals in our city have resulted in grief, loss and fear in our community,” he said in a statement. “It is time for the city to take decisive action to put a stop to this senseless violence and better serve the people trying to make a home in the city of Providence.”
A meeting will be scheduled for early next week, Igliozzi said.
Providence officials have also been working for years to address people illegally riding ATVs on city streets, especially during the summer.
“We will continue to dedicate all our available resources to getting these illegal ATVs off our streets and to bring those responsible to justice,” Elorza said in a statement.
Police have seized and destroyed over 200 bikes since 2017, according to the mayor’s office.
“[We] will continue to pull over and arrest people who are using these bikes illegally,” the mayor said.
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