Plymouth Police say marauding gangs of young teenage boys on bikes have been terrorizing motorists and pedestrians in the downtown, waterfront, and North Plymouth areas.

The department reported that there have been nearly 30 recent reports of kids on bikes swerving at cars, harassing and swearing at pedestrians, fighting, kicking doors, igniting fireworks while riding, aiming to strike birds, damaging flowers intentionally, and being generally disruptive and scary.

Several months ago, one of the teenagers flung himself and his bike in front of a young woman who was driving near the waterfront.

“At first I was at a safe distance.” said Grace, an employee of Flair Floral, on Water Street, who asked that her last name not be used. “I went slow. They were literally circling my car. I said, ‘Absolutely not!’”

Then, she said, “he literally got in front me and threw himself on the ground. It was at a busy intersection. There were cars everywhere.

“I said, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ They moved out of the way, but were swearing and yelling,” Grace said, describing them as “little boys — like 11 to 15.”

Her cousin, she said, sees them everywhere, even outside of church.

“I’m all for being outside,” she said. “You don’t have to terrorize the public, Worst case scenario — what if you get hit? Why is running in front of cars fun?”

On a recent day, a group of about six boys on bicycles were observed riding erratically in the middle of Water Street. In some instances they came perilously close to oncoming traffic. None of them were wearing helmets. So far, there haven’t been any serious collisions with vehicles.

Several business owners told the Independent they’ve seen the teenagers or heard about them but haven’t interacted with them directly.

“I’ve heard horror stories, but we haven’t experienced any of that,” said Heather Casey, of the Blue-Eyed Crab and Mallebar Brasserie restaurants. The cement terrace area near Mallebar and the adjacent 7-Eleven store has also been a frequent congregating area for some of the teens.

Police said they have spoken to some of the bike riders, who blew them off. Even some of their parents “believe it or not” also “didn’t seem to care”, according to a posting on the Plymouth Police Department’s Facebook page.

“This behavior is dangerous, unnecessary, and unacceptable,” the May 24 Facebook posting said.

After months of the behavior going unchecked, police say they have come up with a plan to put an end to it — ticketing the teens or their parents $20. A violator older than 16 would receive the ticket directly.

Police will also impound a violator’s bike for 15 days.

“The juvenile bicycle gang thing was fun while it lasted but starting today enough is enough,” wrote the police on Facebook.

But several business owners were skeptical that a $20 ticket will deter anyone.

“It could be a little bit tougher,” said one restaurant owner. “Twenty dollars isn’t really going to drive it home.”

Andrea Estes can be reached at

Share this story

We believe that journalism as a public service should be free to the community.
That’s why the support of donors like you is critical.

Thank you to our sponsors. Become a sponsor.