Motorcyclist caught after filming dangerous wheelies through town centre
A motorcyclist who did wheelies through Blenheim's town centre, narrowly missing pedestrians, has been caught after posting videos of his stunts on Facebook.
Blenheim man Ethan Thomas Dewe, 23, told police he did the wheelies because he liked the adrenaline rush.
"It's just fun because you know you're not supposed to be doing it," Dewe said after his court appearance on Wednesday.
"It's no fun doing it in a paddock because there's no risk involved."
In February, police were alerted to two videos on his public Facebook page, and investigations revealed Dewe was the rider.
In one video, shot in December, he travelled 400 metres on the back wheel of his orange KTM off-road motorbike along Alabama Rd.
The other video, from February, showed him doing a 30m wheelie along the pedestrian walkway at Blenheim's Taylor River Reserve, before riding up the steps of the amphitheatre and along High St. He then did an 85m wheelie along Queen St, overtaking two vehicles, and a 90m wheelie on Market St in the CBD.
Dewe, a digger operator, admitted reckless driving at the Blenheim District Court on Wednesday.
Police searched Dewe's home on Tuesday and found 4 grams of cannabis by his bed, and another gram in the garage.
Dewe told police he had good motorbike handling skills and the only danger was to himself, the summary said.
If a young child had stepped out in front of him on Market St, he could have stopped the bike in time, he said.
His lawyer John Holdaway said Dewe regretted his actions.
He preferred a fine, Holdaway said, but Judge Peter Butler said he already had $512 in previous fines.
Dewe was convicted for reckless driving and possession of cannabis. His outstanding fines were swapped for community work and he was sentenced to 40 hours of community work in total.
He was also disqualified from driving for six months.
Dewe said after his sentencing he had been brought up on motorbikes.
He sold the bike in the video after being charged to pay for car maintenance.
Police had seized his helmet and camera.
He had a Harley Davidson motorbike in the garage and would have to practice his stunts on that from now on, he said.
"I want to be able to do 12 o'clock wheelies on the Harley."
But he had learnt his lesson about posting videos of illegal stunts on Facebook, he said.
Senior Sergeant Peter Payne, of Blenheim, said police were grateful to a member of the public for bringing the videos to their attention.
"This was a reckless act which put the safety of the public in jeopardy," Payne said.
"Police are here to keep our communities safe, and will not hesitate to hold people to account when they put people's lives at risk."
- The Marlborough Express