A 77-year-old man was shot after an altercation with a group of dirt bike riders on Route 20 in Worcester. WBZ-TV's Beth Germano reports.
DAVID WADE: Fight in the streets in Worcester ends with the shooting of a 77-year-old man. Tonight, police want to find the dirt bike riders who were involved. Tonight, the man's daughters are revealing what led up to the fight. They want to protect their own identity, but they tell WBZ's Beth Germano that their dad was just defending himself.
- A guy just got shot on Route 20 here. Sunderland Road at Route 9.
BETH GERMANO: It was a terrifying moment, the 77-year-old man in a violent encounter with a dirt biker who had surrounded his car, other bikers also pelting the car with rocks, according to his daughters, who don't want to be identified.
- Threw the boulders through the window at the car. And my dad knew it was coming. He was looking in the back, and he said, something's going to happen.
BETH GERMANO: And it did, the man shot in the leg, his 74-year-old friend hit in the face with a rock, all captured by a passing driver as the two men stopped at a red light on Route 20, just heading out for dinner.
DAVE ABRAMO: I heard a-- I don't want to say a bang, like, more of a crack, but loud.
BETH GERMANO: Video shows the dirt biker taking off, and this is an image of the man police are now searching for. The daughters say their father was just trying to defend himself in this situation.
- My dad is my dad. And, you know, he doesn't do anything that he knows he shouldn't do.
BETH GERMANO: But he needed to defend himself.
- It was absolutely defending himself.
BETH GERMANO: Police say illegal dirt bikes have become a serious problem on roads around Worcester, and police have increased dedicated patrols to try to handle the situation.
SEAN MURTHA: The recovery is something like 75 or 80 last year, and of those, 80% were stolen. And we found that people in these bikes are often not teenage joyriders, they're actually involved in serious criminal activity a lot of the time.
BETH GERMANO: In this case, police say the bikers were riding erratically, trying to intimidate drivers. The daughters are shocked it came to this with their father.
- It's going to be a long recovery. He's-- luckily, he's a healthy 77-year-old man that doesn't skip a beat.
BETH GERMANO: The daughters believe it was an off duty firefighter who gave their father medical assistance at the scene and may have saved his life. Police say they're working off many tips.
In Worcester, I'm Beth Germano, WBZ News.