PORTERVILLE, California (KGPE) – Residents in Porterville outraged after several teenagers were arrested during a bicycle ride down main on Saturday.
Video received by CBS47 shows five bikers arrested. Members of the public say officers acted wrongfully but Porterville Police says that isn’t true and that the bikers were a traffic hazard.
The issue came to a head the following Tuesday evening at the Porterville City Council meeting, and the chambers were packed.
“As a sister to a rider, I am now scared that if my brother goes out to ride something bad is going to happen,” says Savannah Beltran. “My step sister dreamed about being a cop after what she saw she is heartbroken”
A famous bicyclist, BlocBoi, led a group of over a hundred down Henderson Street on bicycles. Her dad and siblings took part in the ride.
“What I saw was very unjust.”
Five bicyclists were arrested, between the ages of 12 and 16. 14-year-old rider Andrew Ramirez says he saw an officer throw a kid off his bike.
“The cop got the kid,” said Ramirez. “The kid wasn’t resisting and just got him threw on the floor and started pulling his gun out and kneeing him in the back”
Porterville Police Chief Eric Kroutil says all of these claims are false. In a statement, police say the group violated multiple traffic laws, including taking up a whole side of the road, running lights, and nearly causing accidents.
“Of the five arrested, one was pushed off as he rode close to an officer as the bicyclist attempted to ride around him. A second bicyclist was pulled off his bike as he attempted to ride around the officer.”
Porterville Police Department asks anyone with video of officers acting inappropriately to contact Porterville Police Department Patrol Division Commander, Captain Jake Castellow, at (559) 782-7404.