Last year’s problem of unruly kids on bikes terrorizing drivers and pedestrians has resurfaced on Saugus streets
It looks like Saugus police will be cracking down on kids on bicycles who enjoy tormenting drivers and pedestrians, creating unsafe and dangerous situations on town roads.
Citizen complaints about the unruly kids are becoming more frequent on social media as the town embraces summertime.
And police are currently monitoring the situation, at the request of town officials.
Police Chief Michael Ricciardelli could not be reached for comment. But he’s heard from town officials who are hoping for some action.
“The bicycle issue in town is extremely concerning and one that I do not take lightly,” Selectman Jeffrey Cicolini told The Saugus Advocate this week.
“I have been in contact with the Chief of Police several times in recent months on the matter as well as the town manager. The police department is well aware of the issue and encourages any person (on foot or driving) who witnesses this happening to report it to the police immediately,” Cicolini said in an email yesterday (Thursday, June 30)
“I am very concerned that someone is going to get hurt or, even worse, killed. Several options were discussed in order to try to get this under control. Having an open dialogue and community forums/ outreach from the police department to the parents on the importance of educating their children as to the risks of such behavior,” he said.
“The police department will also inform residents of its ability to seize the bicycle and issue fines for anyone partaking in such activities. Unfortunately, it appears some parents may not know their children are doing this. However, for the ones that do, the only way to get this under control is to issue fines and seize the assets, otherwise why would a parent continue to allow their child to knowingly put themselves in harm’s way?”
Selectman Corinne Riley said that based on what she’s read on Saugus Facebook sites, some angry residents are responding by taking photographs of the cyclists who are annoying them
“Same thing happened last summer,” Riley said.
“It’s not going to be so funny if someone hits them or gets fed up and gives one of them a thrashing. Hopefully, it will be taken care of soon,” she said.
Last year’s crackdown
Precinct 2 Town Meeting Member Robert J. Camuso, Sr. crafted a long email to selectmen last year titled “Kids riding into oncoming traffic & vandalism in our parks.
“These dangerous stunts and playing chicken with traffic is illegal and happening more and more every day,” Camuso wrote.
“Before someone gets hurt or killed, we need to address this because car VS bicycle…car wins every time.”
Camuso didn’t think the email was enough. So, he appeared at a Board of Selectmen’s meeting to elaborate in detail.
“Saugus has a problem and they need to fix it,” Camuso told the board. He even mentioned that he had called the Peabody police to solicit advice on how a similar juvenile problem was dealt with in that community.
Camuso didn’t get any resistance. Just positive feedback from town officials that something needed to be done — a crackdown on the unruly kids who were practicing dangerous behavior.
Saugus Police Lt. Arthur Connors agreed that something needed to be done “before there’s a tragedy.”
“One of these kids is going to get hit and we don’t want that,” Lt. Connor said.
Selectmen thanked Camuso for his efforts to bring a potentially serious problem to public light.
“Someone is going to get killed. It absolutely had to be addressed,” Selectman Jeff Cicolini said.
“We need to fix this before something bad happens,” he said.