Man Pays Dearly After Confronting Punks On Motorcycles

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Fed up with the illegal activity of some punks on motorcycles, a man decided to confront the group. Sadly, he paid dearly for daring to call them out.

Gary Hartung
Gary Hartung lives just steps from the entrance of the Kinnickinnic River Trail, where this sign is posted. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Gary Hartung just wanted to keep his neighborhood nice, safe, and free of chaos. Sadly, misuse of the Kinnickinnic River Trail, a pedestrian path with its entrance just steps from Gary’s house, was ruining it. Although a sign at the entrance of the KK River Trail clearly reads “No Motor Vehicles,” that didn’t stop punks on motorcycles from riding on the path and occupying the trail, making it unsafe for cyclists and pedestrians.

On any given day, one could stand at the entrance of the Kinnickinnic River Trail and see dozens of bicycle riders and pedestrians making their way through the path. Sadly, neighbors say that one could also see groups of motorcycle riders — unfazed by the sign forbidding them from riding on the path — illegally occupying the trail. Such was the case one day when Gary heard a group of six motorcycle riders leaving the trail.

When Gary Hartung heard six motorcyclists leaving the trail, he decided to record them. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Fed up with the motorcyclists illegally using the trail, Gary decided that enough was enough and decided to confront the group. First, he pulled out his phone and began to record a video of the punks. Next, he told them to stop traveling on the pedestrian path. Unfortunately, he paid dearly for that decision. Gary claims that a rider repeatedly hit him in the face, knocking him out cold.

“I watched them as much as I could, trying to get plates or faces or anything, and then I walked among them and one guy just punched me, I was out, knocked out,” recalled Gary, who suffered a broken nose, split lip, and badly bruised eye and face from the brutal assault he sustained after telling the motorcyclists that they should not be using the pedestrian path. The injuries were so bad that doctors said they would take a month to heal.

Gary Hartung
Gary Hartung suffered a broken nose, split lip, and badly bruised eye and face that would take a month to heal, according to doctors. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Police were notified, and an investigation was launched. However, Gary said he knew it would be difficult to identify the unknown suspects since many of the motorcyclists didn’t have license plates. Even so, Gary and his wife Laura still hoped to bring light to this public safety issue, so they reached out to TMJ4 after the attack to share their story.

“I want these people accountable,” said Laura, who uses the trail daily. “I want the community to stay together and to speak up, to be safe and protect each other,” she added after she had experienced the danger of motor vehicles on the path firsthand. “It’s just disappointing that we cannot be safe or we cannot do any activity on a space that is for cyclists and pedestrians.”

Laura and Gary Hartung shared their story in hopes that it might make the KK River Trail safer for the bicyclists and pedestrians it was intended for. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

The Hartungs have every right to be upset. These selfish punks, who only seem to care about their own desires, are putting others in harm’s way by occupying a path that is not intended for motorized vehicles. To make matters worse, they have also shown complete disregard for others by engaging in a physical assault after a minor verbal confrontation that was completely justified. But, being the bullies they are, they attacked an innocent man who was brave enough to call them out. And it was all because they couldn’t defend their illegal behavior.

One can only hope that by sharing Gary’s story, not only will the riders responsible be brought to justice, but others may be deterred from engaging in similar activity. The complete disregard for the rules is the reason we can’t have nice things, as the saying goes. If there is a sign posted that prohibits certain activities, the right thing to do is to respect the rules. Unless it’s their own private property, these punks have no right to use the land as they wish. To think they should be able to do as they wish on public property is an entitled mindset, and that mentality ruins nice things for everyone.