NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (WJZ) — An ATV driver who was seen driving around the National Harbor with a large group is facing more than 20 charges after allegedly popping a wheelie behind an officer’s vehicle and colliding with the marked police cruiser.
Patrol officers at the National Harbor saw a group of 10 to 15 ATVs and dirt bikes in the area of 100 Monument Avenue.
The riders reportedly passed the officers, revving their engines, popping wheelies and “driving recklessly” through traffic.
Police said the officers followed behind the group with their emergency lights activated to record the riders’ traffic violations until the riders began to surround the police vehicles along the road.
One of the officers slowed down and began moving toward the side of the road to let the group pass, they said.
At this point, one of the riders, 23-year-old Marlon Escobar-Lopez of Fort Washington, popped a wheelie behind the officer’s vehicle and collided into the rear bumper of the stopped marked police cruiser which threw him off of his ATV.
Police said they tried to help Escobar-Lopez but he began to run away. Officers quickly caught up to him and arrested him.
Other ATV and dirt bike riders began to surround the officers, yelling and videotaping the officers on their cell phones, police said.
As additional patrol units arrived, the ATV and dirt bike riders then fled and drove onto the wrong side of the road, rode on the sidewalks and then exited the National Harbor on I-295 toward the District.
Escobar-Lopez was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. No one else was injured in this incident.
Escobar-Lopez is charged with disorderly conduct, malicious destruction of property value over $1,000, reckless driving, negligent driving, operating unregistered motor vehicle, violating license restriction, failure to display registration card on demand, driving ATV without driver’s license, driving without current tags, knowingly driving uninsured vehicle, driving motor vehicle on highway without required license and authorization, failure to display license on demand, and failure to obey designated lane directions.
He was also charged with individual operating on a motorcycle without required headgear protection, following vehicle too closely, attempt by driver to elude uniformed police by fleeing on foot, failure to control vehicle speed on highway to avoid collision, operate motor vehicle with operator not restrained by seat belt, operating ATV in Prince George’s County on a controlled access highway, and marijuana paraphernalia possession charges.