A Massachusetts state trooper shot a man as he tried to arrest him near the exit 18 ramp off Interstate 93 south in Boston Saturday evening as police tried to stop a large group of people riding dirt bikes and ATVs, officials said.
The rider, a 28-year-old Randolph man, was taken to Boston Medical Center with what appears to be non-life threatening injuries, said David Procopio, a State Police spokesman. The man was shot in the foot, he said.
The trooper, who was not identified, will be placed on paid administrative leave for several days according to State Police policy, Procopio said.
State Police and the Suffolk district attorney’s office will investigate the shooting, he said.
Boston police received “numerous 911 calls during the day about a large group of people operating ATVs and off-road bikes erratically,” Procopio said.
Boston police spokesman Officer James Kenneally said that Boston police assisted at the scene. Attempts to reach Boston police for further information about the 911 calls Saturday night were unsuccessful.
Shortly before 5 p.m., State Police saw a group of between 25 and 35 people on dirt bikes and ATVs driving “in an erratic and dangerous manner” on I-93 south, he said.
When State Police tried to apprehend members of the group on the exit 18 off-ramp, several of the riders dropped their vehicles and ran away on foot, while others are believed to have driven away, according to Procopio.
State Police took possession of “close to 20” vehicles after the incident.
Five members of the group were arrested on disorderly conduct and motor vehicle charges, and are expected to be arraigned next week in Boston Municipal Court, Procopio said.
The man who was shot and another rider who was taken to the hospital after complaining that he was in pain will likely face the same charges, Procopio said.
Procopio said that he did not know the identities of those who were arrested, or of the man who complained of suffering pain during the arrest.
A trooper also suffered a knee injury during the incident and was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment.
A State Police investigation into the riders’ “reckless operation” is being assisted by Boston police, Procopio said.
Travel lanes were open in both directions, and the exit 18 off-ramp did not re-open until after 9:30 p.m., Department of Transporation spokesman Patrick Marvin said on Twitter.
Traffic was backed up to the Zakim Bridge for several hours Saturday night.
UPDATE: I-93 south Exit 18 off-ramp remains closed as of 9 pm due to ongoing police investigation. Travel lanes on I-93 north and south are open. Traffic now backed up to I-93 southbound Exit Portal. @MassDOT encourages drivers to seek alternate routes to minimize delays. pic.twitter.com/TP8jXV84li— Patrick Marvin (@pmarvin123) February 25, 2018
MassDOT “encourages drivers to seek alternate routes to minimize delays,” he said.
Online images from MassDOT traffic cameras showed a heavy police presence Saturday evening on the southbound side of the interstate before the Mass Ave. Connector.
Jacob Carozza can be reached at email@example.com.