The person responsible for clotheslining a motorbike rider north of the city could face serious criminal charges if caught, warn police.
A Prince George resident suffered “mostly bumps and bruises” this week after he was knocked off his trail bike by baling wire strung across a trail southeast of the Hart Mall, said RCMP spokesperson Constable Mike Caira. A piece of wood with large spikes was also found in the area.
The man wasn’t travelling at a high speed. When he hit the wire, hung at chest height, he was just knocked off his bike. Things could have been worse, said Caira.
“Worst-case scenario, a garroted wire cuts the guy’s throat and a person dies, you could be looking at a murder [manslaughter] charge.”
As it is, if police are able to locate the person responsible for the incident, they will likely face weapons and assault charges.
The wire was put there intentionally, Caira said, likely by a person “upset” with the operation of offroad bikes, all-terrain vehicles and, in the winter, snowmobiles.
It’s not the first time police have been alerted to the presence of wires strung across trails.
Offroading is a common occurrence in many areas of the city, especially on the fringes of developments, such as the Foothills area and north on the Hart.
Because there are lots of trails and pieces of cleared land close to the city, it’s an enjoyable sport for those doing the riding. But for those who live adjacent to the most heavily-used areas, the noise and potential danger prompt regular complaints to police, said Caira.
“Maybe they’re feeling frustrated by the lack of what [police] can do, and so they’ve taken it to that level where they’re going to solve it in their own way, and in this case a bad way.”
It’s difficult for police to pursue or catch the offroaders, he admits. They will often flee when seen by police, and there are only so many places a police cruiser can go. Safety issues related to high-speed chases are also a concern, he said.
RCMP are asking for any information on who may be responsible for stringing the wire. They are also considering a Crimestoppers re-enactment of the incident.