WARWICK, RI — Two Warwick officers called to Walmart, 840 Post Road July 18 at 7:21 p.m. for a group of about 20 motorcycles, none of them street-legal, creating a disturbance arrested a moped and dirt bike rider, the former for a cancelled registration and the latter for possession of a stolen motorcycle.
Officer Matthew Caradimos arrived at the address in time to see a group of about 20 motorcycles of varying makes and models, leaving the parking lot area of the Walmart, none of which appeared street legal, according to the officer’s report. Caradimos turned on his lights and siren and made a U-turn as the motorcycles passed him headed north on Post Road, but the motorcycles continued without stopping for the officer.
Caradimos passed the traffic light at Atlantic Avenue and spotted a man on a black moped with no registration in the far right lane at about 25 mph, a straggler from the group stuck behind a a gray SUV as the other motorcycles passed it by. The officer activated his lights again, stopped his cruiser and got out, calling for the rider to stop the moped and get off, which he did, according to the officer’s report. Caradimos grabbed the man by the shirt and put the moped on its kick stand, then placed the rider, later identified as Haiker Feliz, 22, in handcuffs and searched him for weapons.
As he was placing Feliz in handcuffs, the officer reported seeing a number of motorcycles passing him at high speed, watching as a man on a dirt bike attempted a U-turn and fell off the bike in the right hand lane. The man got up and started running south, pursued by Officer Ali Jaafar, who had been attempting an observational escort of the second group of motorcycles out of the city.
Jaafar had pulled into the Walmart lot a few moments earlier, spotting several people riding dirt bikes and motorized scooters, none of which had any apparent registration, performing tricks and stunts. He reported that the group took notice of him and began to disperse, and he followed, without lights or siren, in order to escort them from the city safely.
While following the group, Jaafar noticed Caradimos’s traffic stop as the group he was following passed the parked vehicles, according to the officer’s report. A group of them slowed as they noticed Jaafar’s cruiser behind them, and one of the riders, on a blue dirt bike, attempted a U-turn in the center of the road, over the center line, in an apparent attempt to avoid the traffic, Jaafar reported.
Jaafar reported that he stopped his cruiser and got out to intercept the rider as he slowly made the turn, but the motorcycle rider noticed him, and spun out the dirt bike, and dropped it, then started fleeing on foot. Jaafar pursued, and the man threw his helmet at the officer as he ran away.
Jaafar caught up to the rider anyway, and was able to subdue him about 40 feet from where he’d dropped his motorcycle. Caradimos, who had just placed the rider he’d stopped into his cruiser, came to Jaafar’s aid. The two placed the man, later identified as Eiza Rodriguez, 34, of 105 Wadsworth St., Providence, in handcuffs and then into Jaafar’s cruiser. The rider’s dirt bike, later determined to have been stolen from Providence, had been damaged by the failed U-turn attempt. Jaafar picked it up and walked it to the sidewalk.
Both the motorcycle and the moped were towed from the scene. Rodriguez was charged with assault for his attempt to hit Jaafar with his helmet, and for possession of a stolen vehicle. He was held as a probation violator with multiple narcotics violations on his record. He was also cited for operating an unregistered vehicle, lane violations and for not operating with a head lamp.
Feliz was charged with operating a vehicle without registration and was also citied for operating without eye protection.