Port Jefferson and Babylon village officials in recent days broke up large gatherings of bicyclists they said were blocking traffic on roadways and putting themselves and others in danger of contracting coronavirus.
Mayor Margot J. Garant of Port Jefferson said village code officers and Suffolk police on Sunday threatened to seize bicycles when they cornered a group of about 30 riders at the intersection of Main Street and East and West Broadway. The bicyclists, including teenagers and a few adults, have not been seen since, Garant said.
In Babylon, a rider in a large gathering of bicyclists near Argyle Park became unruly and coughed on an official who confronted her Saturday, Mayor Ralph Scordino said. He called the incident disrespectful.
“They were in large groups, young kids on bicycles at the park and they were congregating, not practicing any of the social distances that you’re supposed to be practicing,” Scordino said Tuesday. “These people, especially the young people, should stay out of groups and if they’re in a group, they have to have a social distance.”
Pictures and videos of bicyclists congregating in Setauket and Port Jefferson appeared on social media, prompting calls to local officials, who contacted police.
Garant said bicyclists rode into Port Jefferson, where they were ordered to disperse. Police and village code officers, making use of a village law banning reckless bike riding as well as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's executive orders last week barring large gatherings, said they would seize the bicycles if the riders returned, Garant said.
"Our guys were quick to act," she said. "With the governor's order to dissipate, we felt very confident that we can tell them to disperse or take their bikes."
In the Babylon incident, Scordino said, an elected official he did not identify told the bicyclists to spread out when one of them became unruly with her. One cyclist coughed on the official, he said.
“They said very derogatory comments to her," Scordino said. “She tried to disperse them and they got very disrespectful in the way they talked to her.”
Suffolk police had no immediate comment.