Palm Bay police remind ATV riders that The Compound isn't a recreation area

PALM BAY, Fla. — The Palm Bay Police Department said a serious ATV accident in The Compound over the weekend means it is a good time to remind people that it is not a public recreation area.

The Compound is an area in southwest Palm Bay that was cleared for development in the 1980s, but it has been left mostly untouched except for the dozens of miles of paved roads.

Police said a lot of activities going on there are illegal.

Investigators said there is no new crackdown after the incident there over the weekend, but they will continue to enforce the law and try to educate people about what they should not be doing there.

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On Thursday evening, Peter Clarke was riding his ATV at The Compound.

He said it's a perfect place, with 200 miles of wide-open, paved roads and acres of empty lots.

"They have places where you can go across the canal and get into the deep woods," he said. "On Saturday morning, you have, like, 30 guys lined up behind each other. It's like a line. You just keep following the line, like a snake going through the woods."

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There is a Facebook page dedicated to people who ride ATVs and dirt bikes at The Compound.

The page had videos of people riding through the mud and pictures of people performing stunts.

A police flyer posted on the page warns people not to trespass, ride off-road vehicles on city streets, dump trash or use firearms. Violations could lead to fines or jail time, police said.

People who live nearby said those activities happen on a regular basis and there are also car races on the mostly deserted streets.

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Video from Palm Bay Fire Rescue shows one person being flown to a hospital over the weekend after crashing an ATV off-road.

Clarke said there is usually no issue at The Compound unless someone gets injured.

"It had been going on for some time now, but based on accidents, that's what (gives) it the attention of the police and the public," he said.

Many who use The Compound as a recreation area do not seem too worried, so long as nobody gets injured.

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