NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana State Police say they have identified nearly 100 people who participated in a ‘Ride Out’ event on Mardi Gras Day, February 13, 2018.
According to troopers, the ‘Ride Out’ lasted for nearly eight hours during which time the participants used dirt bikes, ATVs, and other trail vehicles to shut down roads. In one location, I-10 over Orleans Avenue, troopers say a large group of riders brought traffic to a standstill in the westbound lanes. They say a similar shutdown occurred on the interstate over Conti Street.
Troopers say the nearly year-long investigation has resulted in dozens of arrests. The suspects face a list of charges including aggravated obstruction of highway of commerce, reckless operation, simple obstruction of a highway, and various other charges.
Of the suspects identified, troopers say nearly half are from Louisiana. Of the 35 arrest warrants issued for Louisiana residents, 12 are outstanding. 31 other suspects are from Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas or the District of Columbia.
According to troopers, some of the participants were riding stolen vehicles. Seven people were arrested and accused of involvement in a crime ring that stole vehicles from businesses in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. Some of those suspect also face drug and weapons charges.
Troopers describe the investigation as complex. They say that the behavior of the ‘Ride Out’ participants put people in potentially deadly situations. They also say that they will be prepared to respond to any similar events this Mardi Gras.