You may have seen motorcyclists on the freeway showing off while doing wheelies, driving at high speeds or standing on their seats. This type of activity may be dangerous, but it can also be a violation of the California vehicle code. It is one thing to be caught by the police for reckless driving or VC 23109(c), Exhibition of Speed; however, it is another thing altogether to videotape yourself engaging in vehicle violations and post them on YouTube.
A man in Brentwood was arrested after posting video of almost 50 stunt motorcycle riders cruising along I-680 near Milpitas. In the video, riders can be seen doing wheelies while standing on their motorcycle. At one point, a California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer comes up alongside to pull over a rider, but the motorcycle rider waives off the officer and continues on. The officer called for backup, but by then, all the motorcyclists had exited the freeway.
CHP Officer Lee Ross said, “the officer was telling him to slow down and stop driving recklessly. He was making some statements about the safety and the illegal aspect of the way they were driving.”
According to a statement released by the CHP, the riders “displayed complete disregard for a California Highway Patrol officer who was attempting to conduct an enforcement stop.” Under VC 2800.1, any person who evades, willfully flees or otherwise attempts to elude a pursuing officer may be charged with a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail.
CHP officers tracked down 32-year-old Gurudas Singh Khalsa at his Brentwood home, serving a search warrant to look for evidence related to failing to pull over for a peace officer. It was the videos themselves, in addition to information Khalsa posted about himself online, that lead officers to his residence.
In addition to GoPro cameras attached to motorcycle helmets, officers also came across about 90 marijuana plants, and a rifle. Charges could include illegal marijuana cultivation, possession of a loaded firearm, and felony being an accessory after the fact in stunt driving, and obstructing a police officer.
Videos of the rides were posted on YouTube, and the camera company GoPro even provided Khalsa with a sponsorship for his stunt riding. One video posted under the username GuruStunts, “Streetfighterz Ride of the Century 2013 *Official*”, showing just this type of stunt riding down residential streets and on area highways, has over 2 million views.
Despite the popularity of these videos, the act of posting them online may have led to Khalsa's downfall. According to CHP Captain Jim Libby,” the initial posting on the social media site helped direct the officers, and it linked to other information Mr. Khalsa had posted about himself online.”
At the Gorelick Law Offices, attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her legal career to defending people charged with reckless driving, marijuana cultivation and other criminal violations in the East Bay. With more than 30 years of criminal defense experience, she understands the penalties involved, and knows how to fight to keep your arrest from ending in a conviction. Contact your local East Bay criminal defense attorney who will make sure you get the justice you deserve.