Video of a pack of what appears to be stunt riders popping wheelies, speeding along the highway and waving off a California Highway Patrol officer is fueling an intensified hunt to find the motorcyclists who seemed to enjoy taunting the cop.
CHP Officer Ross Lee said the San Jose-based agency was alerted to the video "Cop Chases Bikers Then Bikers Then Biker Makes Cop Leave," on Wednesday, after the Mercury News first reported it.
The video was posted on Oct. 21 and by Thursday had nearly 250,000 hits on YouTube. Lee said it was taken on Oct. 11, in the afternoon, when about 50 riders were traveling south on Interstate 680 in San Jose. The riders can be seen standing on their bikes, driving in between cars and refusing to stop when the unnamed CHP officer tells them to.
Lee said the officer asked for backup, but the group ended up exiting on McKee Road before help arrived. No one was arrested, Lee said, because the officer decided not to pursue them, fearing it would be too dangerous.
If the riders are caught, Lee said, they could be charged with reckless driving, exhibition of speed and evading an officer. All are misdemeanors unless someone gets hurt, which could then make that behavior a felony.
The person who posted the video, GuruStunts, emailed back and forth with NBC Bay Area on Thursday. He did not want his real name to be used, and he insisted that he didn't take the video, was not part of the ride and has "no affiliation with them. It was sent to me by an anonymous rider."
He wrote that he "strictly buys and posts videos on YouTube as the brand GuruStunts." He also represents StreetFighterz clothing and merchandise, which states on its website that the company is a Streetbike Freestyle Stunt Team based out of St. Louis, Missouri.
The stunt team began releasing underground films in 2000, the website states, and its riders travel the country "living through every experience like its our last."