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Stunt motorcycle riders coming to St. Louis on Saturday; police watching
ST. LOUIS -- As motorcycle stunt riders gather this weekend in St. Louis, authorities have words of warning to the riders: They'll be watching.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that social networking websites are promoting the Streetfighterz Ride of the Century 2012, scheduled for Saturday in St. Louis. More than 2,000 people are expected to take part.
A similar ride took place in the St. Louis area last year. St. Louis County police chief Tim Fitch said police didn't have advance notice of that event.
"Now we've had an opportunity to prepare," Fitch said. "We will be ready for them."
Some of those riders frightened drivers on the interstate highways with stunts such as zooming between cars and driving into traffic. Fitch said police were inundated with calls about the stunts. Two motorcyclists were killed during the 2011 rally and another lost a leg.
This time, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and several police agencies are teaming up, bringing in extra officers for the weekend and even planning to monitor the bikers from the sky. "You can't outrun a helicopter," Fitch said.
Disruptive riders could face more than just a ticket and could end up in jail, he said.
The event is for riders of sports bikes specially designed for speed and stunts. A Facebook page bills the ride as the "10th and final" of its kind.
The gathering occurs during a busy weekend in St. Louis that includes the Great Balloon Race in Forest Park. Fitch said the motorcyclists are welcome -- as long as they don't cause problems and create dangerous situations.
"What we hope is they will come to St. Louis and enjoy the city, but what we won't tolerate is them driving on our highways and endangering their lives and other people's lives," Fitch said.