New photos released of suspects in massive Route 1 'takeover' in Orange, Milford
Police in Orange posted new photos Friday from that massive ATV caravan as they look to make more arrests in an incident that spanned multiple municipalities. They want to know if the public can help identify the horde of riders who took over Route 1 with their ATVs, bikes and other motor vehicles, rolling from West Haven through Orange then Milford on July 8.
“We just had 300-400 people come down the Post Road. We saw people doing things like doing wheelies, weaving in and out of traffic, passing cars on the opposite side of the road and just a lot of reckless driving,” said Pfc. Brianna MacDonald of Milford police.
MacDonald told News 12 they got a heads up from officers in Orange that the takeover was heading their way, so Milford police cruisers went to the area with their dashcams activated.
“We did not pursue any vehicles. Our officers were told to not engage in any pursuits if it was strictly motor vehicle violations,” explained MacDonald.
The dashcams allowed Milford police to capture images of those involved. They posted the first pictures to social media on July 11, asking for help.
“It's dangerous for everybody that's in the takeover but also everybody else that's just trying to drive their vehicle down the Post Road. That type of behavior can cause a lot of accidents,” MacDonald said.
The incident did cause one accident—a bike got caught under a car, according to MacDonald.
“We got a call from the people inside the car frantic, not knowing what to do because there was this 300-400 people that just surrounded the vehicle,” she said.
That call was among the dozens that came in that evening to police in Orange and Milford.
“It's very scary for people who are just trying to travel through our city and who live here as well,” MacDonald said.
Police in Orange announced the first arrest related to the caravan on Thursday - Justin Potts, of Meriden. Potts is accused of drinking a beer while driving an unregistered ATV recklessly. Police said during the incident, two Orange officers were on an unrelated motor vehicle stop around Boston Post Road and Lindy Street, and their vehicles’ dashcams caught a lot of the activity.
Assistant Chief Max Martins told News 12 he hopes arrests will curtail street takeovers. Martin said they’ve been a problem in New Haven County for years but appear to be increasing in frequency, leaving the public even more frustrated. He said the sheer volume of complaints is evidence this type of behavior has become more than just a nuisance.
MacDonald said Milford has seen its share of illegal vehicles on the roads, driving recklessly but not to the extent of this incident.
“I think it was the first time it was this many people and this serious,” she said.
Anyone who recognizes the men in the pictures posted by Orange police can contact Lt. Michael Kosh at 203-891-2138 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Milford police have eight pictures on their Facebook page. Anyone with information on those can reach out to Detective Marilisa Anania at 203-7834733.