New Haven issues warning ahead of unauthorized motorcycle rally – NBC Connecticut
New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker has a message to people planning to attend Saturday’s EastCoastin ‘motorcycle rally: “Don’t come.”
Despite the city’s efforts to end the event, organizers say they are moving forward with plans to hold it.
The situation is contentious. During a briefing on Wednesday morning, strong words were exchanged. There is frustration on both sides.
The EastCoastin ‘motorcycle rally is scheduled for Saturday and New Haven police have issued a message to organizers that left little room for interpretation.
“This is an unauthorized event. It is not sanctioned by the city, and it will not be tolerated, ”said interim police chief Renée Dominguez.
In 2020, the EastCoastin ‘rally drew a massive crowd, estimated by police at around 10,000. Discouraging this, the city said it had met with organizers on several occasions to discuss safer and more legal options. The organizers say they tried to cooperate.
“I said, I’m ready to take any avenue you need me to go down. Whatever the cost of the permits, whatever it is, let’s do it the right way, and they couldn’t give me a legitimate answer, ”said organizer Gabriel Canestri.
The event could draw a similar crowd to that of last year, which also took place without a permit. Police said many hotels in the area were near full for the weekend. A local resident with whom we spoke is concerned.
Thommy Shaw says she’s had issues with ATVs and dirt bikes in her neighborhood. The idea of having more motorcycles in town worries him.
“I’m expecting some disruption because that’s exactly what it’s going to be,” Shaw said.
Ken Johnson is an avid motorcycle enthusiast and has competed in rallies as far away as Daytona.
“There is nothing wrong with that. Just a bunch of guys having fun, ”Johnson said.
Johnson was considering attending Saturday’s event until he learned he was not sanctioned by the city.
“I don’t want problems because if you’re with a biker you’re with everyone,” he said.
Organizers say they refuse to cancel the event and have used social media to warn from out of town that this is an event “at your own risk.”
“We insist on this event regardless,” Canestri said. “People will come and we will stay true to them. “
The mayor of New Haven, however, wants his message to be clear.
“Don’t come to this event if you care about New Haven public safety,” said Justin Elicker. “Do not come to this event if you are concerned that we are devoting police resources to this event that we may be devoting to other things.”