BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Buffalo police arrested three people after they say they were recklessly driving ATVs, and causing thousands of dollars in damage.
Tuesday around 4 p.m., police received two separate calls about people on ATVs.
According to officers, the ATV riders were causing damage to the property of The Valley Center on Leddy St. and The Red Jacket Riverfront Natural Habitat Park area.
Buffalo residents Mariangely Fernandez, 29, Kevin Calderon Rivera, 21, and Carlos Henandez Rivera, 18, were subsequently charged with criminal mischief and trespassing.
News 4 talked to community activist Peg Overdorf who says this is not the first time people rode ATVs through the park and she’s worried it’ll happen again.
“I’ve been seeing ATV riders destroying our parks,” Overdorf said. “I mean it’s made to enjoy not to destroy.”
Lately, ATV riders are damaging Leddy Park near her job and other parks in the area.
“We built the park 20 years ago, we have trails back there,” she said. “It was meant for pedestrians. It’s got a Geo-tech fabric that’s worn away from the ATVs that have been down there.”
Overdorf said that’s not all the damage ATV riders have caused.
“There’s all ruts back there, a lot of the vegetation we planted, a lot of trees we planted, they’re all gone,” she said. “It’s just disheartening to see people destroy it.”
It also effects the people and animal life who enjoy the park.
“Quite frankly roaring SUV’s, and four wheelers and the like, they don’t create a good environment for that,” Erie County Parks Deputy Commissioner Gregory Olma said. “The people feel threatened by them, the wildlife is driven away by them. This is not the place for them. It’s not an ATV park.”
People are not allowed to drive any type of vehicle, including ATVs through the parks, but Olma said, people do.
“We have problems with the neighbors taking ATVs and other sorts of recreational vehicles, motorcycles driving them throughout the parks causing all kinds of ruts and stuff,”he said. “It’s not unusually, it’s unfortunate but it’s not unusual.”
Overdorf said the community needs to be aware that this is a problem in the neighborhood and do their part to stop it from happening.
“We need the public to understand that they need to alert the police if they see an ATV on the street, they don’t belong in the streets,” she said. “If they’re out in the country, whatever, on those private trails that’s fine but not around here.”