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7 motorcyclists arrested on reckless driving charges, dozens cited, say Suffolk cops

Motorcyclist Matthew Valentino, 25, of East Quogue, in

Motorcyclist Matthew Valentino, 25, of East Quogue, in custody on the corner of Pine Aire Drive and Washington Avenue just east of the Deer Park train station in Deer Park. (Oct. 27, 2013) Credit: James Carbone

Suffolk police said Sunday they put the brakes on a pack of motorcyclists speeding and weaving through traffic in at least three South Shore communities, arresting seven bikers and ticketing dozens more.

The incident comes amid a law enforcement crackdown on Long Island that began about a week ago after two notable motorcycle cases: the Oct. 14 arrest of seven bikers police said were speeding and driving recklessly on the Long Island Expressway and the Sept. 29 road rage incident in which, police said, a pack of motorcyclists chased down and beat an SUV driver on the Henry Hudson Parkway in Manhattan.

On Sunday, seven motorcyclists were charged with driving recklessly, and 36 others who police suspect were part of a large pack of bikers speeded and harassed drivers through Islip, Bay Shore and Deer Park.

Police received a call at 3:22 p.m. reporting a "disturbance involving motorcycles" on Deer Park Avenue, they said.

Several riders -- some on motorcycles and others on four-wheel motorcycles known as quads -- were speeding and weaving in and out of traffic on several busy roads, including Pine Aire Drive, Udall Road and Sunrise Highway, Third Precinct Sgt. Rocco Baudo said.

The seven motorcyclists arrested on reckless driving charges included Samuel Morales, 19, and Tikret Cekic, 23, both of Brooklyn, and Matthew Valentino, 25, of East Quogue. Joel Hernandez, 19, of Brentwood, was arrested after police said he backed into a police vehicle. The officers were not injured.

Jason Coleman, 29, of Yonkers was charged with leaving the scene of accident after he made an illegal U-turn that resulted in a car crash, police said, and Thomas Palacios, 35, of Bay Shore, who was driving an all-terrain vehicle, was charged with driving under the influence.

One passenger, whom police did not identify, was charged with obstructing governmental administration after a police officer ordered her to stop and she attempted to flee.

"You would think after what happened in the city, they'd be smarter about it," said Baudo, who explained that motorists reported the motorcyclists driving recklessly. "Everybody's on edge after what happened in the city and on the LIE."

Four motorcycles and an ATV were impounded, police said.

Police found the larger group riding motorcycles behind a Suffolk County Department of Social Services building on South Second Street in Bay Shore, he said. Those 36 people were issued field appearance tickets citing them with trespassing, he said. Parking tickets also were issued, police said.

With Laura Figueroa

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