Last Updated on March 20, 2022
On Tuesday, a swarm of motorcycles surrounded a car in Harlem and dragged the occupants out. After beating both the driver and a passenger, the assailants fled the scene with the occupants’ belongings. The story was initially reported by the New York Post.
The two motorists were at St. Nicholas Avenue and West 127th Street in NYC’s Harlem section around 4:30 p.m. when they were surrounded by four or five bikers, according to police. The assailants pulled the driver 63-year-old driver and the passenger, 35, out of the car and beat them, then fled with a wallet and cell phone, police said.
New York city has endured a massive crime wave after crime rates had been dropping prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Major crime spiked 20 percent in January and has continued to rise, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. Murder was up by about a third with 32 homicides on record in January when compared with January of 2020, when the city recorded 22. There were 1,083 stolen vehicles recorded, up from 470 in 2020, according to NYPD data.
Both serious assaults and burglaries were up by more than 200 incidents in February compared to the same time in 2020 with NYPD recording 1,665 felony assaults, which was up from 1,478, and 1,186 burglaries, an increase from 961, according to the New York Post. The crime wave mirrors a national trend that accelerated after the George Floyd riots in 2020.
Swarms of motorcycles and other offroad vehicles have become a massive issue in nearby Philadelphia. In 2021, the city announced that it would no longer be pursuing “minor vehicular-related offenses”, such as missing taillights and window tints. Offroad vehicle swarms have become commonplace in the city while numerous serious crimes have been associated with them. In March, a dirt biker almost shot a driver during a viral attack in South Philadelphia. According to police, a 25-year-old man was driving when a group on dirt bikes and quads stopped abruptly, causing the victim’s vehicle to strike one of the bikes. After the driver got out of his car to check see if the riders were OK, he was assaulted and had his car destroyed with a cinder block.
The latest bike swarm-related assault in New York City is not the first incident over the last year, prompting concerns that NYC could soon be facing similar issues. Last June, a swarm of bikers assaulted a postal worker on a busy Brooklyn Street.
Crime is up in every NYC precinct as of last month, representing a 60% increase over February of last year.