A mystery motorcyclist who instigated police chases and posted his Suffolk escapades on YouTube has been charged with reckless endangerment after a monthslong investigation, state police said Friday.
Kenny Martinez, 27, of Shirley, was identified as the man who gave the finger to officers from various agencies over the years and waved farewell as his Suzuki sped off down embankments, between trees in traffic medians, past cars on busy local roads and even on the lawn of the West Islip library.
“He runs from the police all the time,” said Trooper Fabio Daino, who identified and arrested Martinez after studying dozens of the escape videos on his YouTube account.
Martinez was scheduled to be arraigned Friday on two counts each of third-degree unlawful fleeing police, second-degree reckless endangerment and reckless driving, all misdemeanors. He was also cited for several vehicle and traffic violations.
He had uploaded videos captured by his helmet camera, with some YouTube videos getting millions of views, enough attention to get ads on his account, police said.
In one November video entitled “Police, I’ll wait ... NOPE,” a motorcyclist on a highway median escapes a police cruiser by going down an embankment under an overpass and speeding away along train tracks. In others, a motorcyclist and as many as 10 off-road vehicles can be seen hogging roads in both directions, and police said the riders almost cause accidents.
“As I was working the case, he obviously continued to [post], so he kept building a case for us as we were working to build a case on him,” Daino said.
As part of a special patrol stopping off-roading in Pine Barrens and parks, Daino and Suffolk sheriffs had encountered the motorcyclist and four ATVs on Dec. 13 as they sped from power transmission towers and onto Route 25 in Ridge.
They eluded police, but in February, Daino discovered a video of the escapade, titled “ATV Police vs ATV Riders.” The trooper said he started studying the other videos on the account and got help from other agencies whose officers had stopped Martinez in the past but had not arrested him.
Daino said it wasn’t the taunts in the videos that made him focus on solving the case but the danger the man caused on the roads. Martinez would do wheelies, speed and drive the wrong way in an effort to attract and “instigate” chases on a “regular basis,” police said.
When Martinez was arrested at his job at the Kohl’s store in Shirley, he was not like his video persona, Daino said: “He’s very respectful.”