Dirt-bike riders pose a particular challenge to the Metropolitan Police Department’s no-chase policy. So when Lt. Michael Smith saw two bikers popping wheelies near the Washington Convention Center Sept. 9, he tried a new approach: calling in the chopper. At the time, the department’s Air Support helicopter was patrolling in the neighborhood; Smith blocked the path of one biker with his cruiser on N Street NW, but he says the man hopped the curb and tore down the sidewalk, forcing Giant shoppers to drop their grocery bags and dive for their lives. “The guy was insane,” Smith says. The bikers fled up Sherman Avenue NW, with the eye in the sky following ’til 4th District officers could intercept them. One was cited for 16 moving violations; the other escaped. “The chopper is usually someplace else,” Smith says. “He just happened to be right on top of it this time.” —Dave Jamieson