NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – As dozens of law-breaking bikers and off-road vehicle riders terrorized Nashville on Saturday, the man broadcasting their journey to Facebook Live yelled, “Yo, where the mayor? Where the Metro police when you need ’em?”
For the second time this year, Ricardo Suarez captured people shutting down traffic in Nashville. He claimed he was only a bystander for the February "highway shutdown" at I-24 near Old Hickory Boulevard in Antioch.
Suarez identified himself as "just the cameraman" in his latest 40-minute video called "NASHVILLE TN ST REET (sic) BIKE TAKEOVER." It started on 11th Avenue North just after 1 p.m. Saturday.
MORE: Metro officer dragged by 4-wheeler after group of riders take over Broadway
After driving through red lights in the Gulch, the drivers — some of whom were masked — arrived in the Napier neighborhood. "Gotta give back to the community. This is how we do it," Suarez said, without explanation.
He stepped out of the passenger seat of a BMW car into the middle of the road. The driver’s identity is not clear.
Some of the drivers performed tricks on either side of Suarez; some were in the wrong lane of traffic. One of them popped a wheelie so high, the video showed a stop sign attached to the vehicle’s undercarriage. Another spun their tires while the air filled with smoke.
The drivers did not talk about their motivations on the video, but Suarez revealed some of his. "Nobody needs to be calling me and messing up my live," he said. “Y’all share the video." He repeated the request throughout the video.
When News 2 asked for permission to use the video, Suarez demanded money. News 2 declined. “I don’t want no news media calling my phone unless y’all have 300,000 check for me," he wrote on Facebook.
He also attacked Nashville’s leadership. "Hey, where the mayor when you need him? Where the police when you need him? Where they at man?"
Suarez yelled a similar attack as the caravan stopped traffic and cut through red lights in downtown Nashville. No police were seen in the video.
Metro police told News 2 in September officers would not chase reckless bikers and ATV drivers, citing a risk to the public. They also said the drivers are difficult to catch and the cases are difficult to prove because the vehicles often do not have tag numbers.
As the group crossed Broadway, the video did not show the dragging of Metro police Sgt. John Bourque by an off-road vehicle. The officer was injured and released from the hospital on Saturday night. Asked whether the group he recorded was involved in the confrontation, Suarez responded, "Idk."
When the group arrived on Rosa Parks Boulevard, they spread to all four lanes, stopped traffic, and even surrounded a white car whose driver tied to maneuver around the blockade.
"We try to tell y’all (expletive) from cashville (unintelligible) this is my city," Suarez yelled. "All you (expletive) stay in your lane or y’all gonna end up hanging from a bridge."
He may have been referring to the secret "CASHVILLE EXPOSED" Facebook group, which appears to have nearly 19,000 members. He shared a screenshot of the group and a message that he’d been temporarily blocked from posting to the group. “Told y’all Nashville staying hating," he wrote.
After a drive through Metro Center, the video suddenly ends at a gas station. Suarez wrote on Facebook, “We took over the city once again thanks Nashville tn."
He threatened another "highway shutdown" for Saturday night. Just after 11 p.m., he posted a video titled "Highway shutdown happening right now." His camera recorded a screen showing car stunts with child-like sounds in the background. The camera shot widened to him spinning a toy car on a wood table.