Unsanctioned Motorcycle Rally Organizer Sentenced for Reckless Endangerment

by Samantha Whidden

The organizer of the East Coastin’ motorcycle rally received a suspended sentence of one year earlier this month after pleading no contest to first-degree reckless endangerment. 

According to the New Haven Register, the East Coastin’ motorcycle rally also brought thousands of people to New Haven’s Annex neighbor over the objections of city officials. Gabe Canestri Jr., the organizer of the rally, pleaded no contest to a charge of first-degree reckless endangerment. He was given a one-year sentence, execution suspended. He was placed on conditional discharge for three years as well. 

New Haven’s mayor Justin Elicker stated that the city intends to seek restitution for costs incurred during the motorcycle rally event. A civil lawsuit will happen. “Judge [Phillip] Scarpellino made it clear that Mr. Canestri will be held accountable for his illegal activities,” Elicker explained. “That had a negative impact on the city.”

Elicker adds that while the judge did not include restitution as part of the criminal case against the motorcycle rally organizer, his administration does intend to pure restitution through civil court. “Our police department continues to investigate other individuals involved in this event. And will bring additional charges when appropriate.”

The media outlet also reveals Canestri had charges for inciting a riot and second-degree breach of peace. New Haven’s Director of Communications, Kyle Buda, stated that the city tabulated approximately $80,000 in costs associated with the motorcycle rally. This includes overtime for police and public waterworks officials. 

New Haven Endures $80,000 in Costs Associated With Motorcycle Rally

The New Haven Register revealed that the September 25th motorcycle rally was unsanctioned by the city. Despite being against public officials’ orders, the event was relatively going smoothly. But then attendees began a stunt show on Waterfront Street. Interim Police Chief, Renee Dominguez said that the stunts violated an agreement with the police department. 

After the stunts and burnouts on Waterfront Street began, police started dispersing people from the area. Dominguez said the police and motorcycle rally organizers had an agreement that a stunt show would not take place. However, the stunt took over the waterfront area.

“The event was going smoothly,” Dominguez said. “Everyone on both sides was very happy with how the event was going. And then, this disregard for what we had said. And our rules we had put forth happened.”

Dominguez also stated that approximately 150 officers were part of the event’s special detail. Each officer continued working into the night. The interim chief noted that she hoped the department could continue to have “productive conversations” with organizers over future events. This is despite Canestri’s arrest.  

Dominguez goes on to add, “We’ve had productive conversations all the way up until the end. However, there is a point where we have to do what we have to do to have law and order.”

Outsider.com