Law enforcement agencies are urging the public be safe as Martin Luther King Jr. weekend approaches, a holiday that usually entails dangerous stunts on the highways of South Florida.
“This event is non-sanctioned, it’s illegal and a threat to the public safety," said Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony at a press conference Thursday.
“Then they get to bail out and leave our community. If that’s the case, we have to be much more punitive, and I’ve said that several times to get my point across and push it up to Tallahassee.”
What started as a "Wheels Up, Guns Down" event to curb violence several years ago has now turned into a repetitive headache for officials, as hundreds of ATV, dirt bike and off-road vehicle drivers weave through traffic.
In Miami Beach, a task force has already been working in recent weeks to seize illegal weapons. So far officials say they have made more than 200 arrests, and handed out 700 traffic citations.
More officers are expected to be patrolling the streets throughout the weekend.
Major Robert Chandler of the Florida Highway Patrol assured the public that "we will have multiple aircrafts in the air as well as Broward Sheriff's Office... we know where these groups are, we are going to handle it."
"Please do not take matters into your own hand," he added. "Do not engage with these folks."