Houston News : HPD: 71 arrests so far in 2020 for illegal street takeovers

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A driver is seen doing donuts while surrounded by a crowd of people on a recent night in Houston.

A driver is seen doing donuts while surrounded by a crowd of people on a recent night in Houston.

Photo: Houston Police Department, Courtesy Houston Police Department

Photo: Houston Police Department, Courtesy Houston Police Department

A driver is seen doing donuts while surrounded by a crowd of people on a recent night in Houston.

A driver is seen doing donuts while surrounded by a crowd of people on a recent night in Houston.

Photo: Houston Police Department, Courtesy Houston Police Department

HPD: 71 arrests so far in 2020 for illegal street takeovers

Houston police announced the arrests of 71 people accused of participating in street takeovers, in which amateur drivers illegally block intersections and freeways to perform stunts.

Those numbers account for arrests since the start of 2020, according to Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo. More than 40 of the arrests stem from incidents in February alone.

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The takeovers can prove fatal. In Dallas, a 20-year-old man died Feb. 9 when he fell out of a pickup truck doing donuts in a parking lot.

Houston and Harris County has yet to see anyone die from such an event, but prosecutors believe it is not a matter of if, but when.

“It’s a miracle it hasn’t happened yet,” said Sean Teare, vehicular crimes chief at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. “And it will happen soon.”

VIDEO: Houston freeways becoming the new backdrop for dangerous stunts

On a recent night in Houston, a group of drivers shut down a two-mile stretch of U.S. 59 to perform donuts and drag races. Acevedo said Thursday his detectives identified several drivers and plan to execute arrest warrants soon.

Acevedo said police also seized more than a dozen cars used during the takeovers. Most of the drivers arrested were between 16 and 24 years old, and some were using their parents’ supped-up cars for the stunts – unbeknownst to the parents, Acevedo said.

“If you value your car, do not engage in this behavior,” Acevedo said, then echoing Teare’s sentiment. “This isn’t Hollywood. You don’t get a second take.”

Jay R. Jordan covers breaking news in the Houston area. Read him on our breaking news site, Chron.com, and our subscriber site, HoustonChronicle.com | Follow him on Twitter at @JayRJordan | Email him at [email protected]





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Source : chron.com