Three people were arrested during a street takeover on Saturday night in southwest Houston, Texas. This is part of a statewide crackdown on these dangerous events. About 200 cars took part in the seizure on Saturday.
Harris County Sheriff Major Susan Cotter said that one of the suspects had a 13-year-old passenger in his car and was arrested for putting the child in danger.
In December 2020, the Houston Police Department started a Traffic Crimes Task Force to stop “street takeovers,” which are when car clubs and large groups of people gather at an intersection or parking lot to race, drift, and drive dangerously.
“The meetups can be organized in minutes and attract hundreds of people,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Sunday. “Ordinary motorists and pedestrians risk their lives if they stumble upon the chaos. Things can quickly go wrong.”
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Texas sheriff arrests three at Houston street takeover amid statewide crackdown https://t.co/K83BgUxDtn
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After several intersections were blocked off in Austin, the state capital, over the weekend, Gov. Greg Abbott set up a task force on Thursday through the Department of Public Safety to stop street takeovers.
Videos showed car clubs driving in the middle of the street, setting off fireworks, and throwing rocks and bottles at police officers who were responding to the scene.
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At least seven people were arrested after the Austin event on multiple charges, such as trying to avoid arrest, having meth, and carrying weapons without a permit.
“We must send a clear message that these reckless, coordinated criminal events will not be tolerated in Texas,” Abbott said Thursday. “This statewide task force will work closely with local officials and law enforcement to investigate, prosecute, and prevent these dangerous street takeovers.”vers.”
Between 9 p.m. and 1:30 a.m., car clubs took over intersections in four parts of Austin. As officers came to help, people threw rocks, bottles, and lasers at them. One officer was hurt, and several police vehicles were damaged.
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Between 9 and 10 p.m., the APD’s 911 call center got 390 calls, which led to long waits of up to 27 minutes, Chacon said, adding that they only got 65 calls the previous Saturday.
“This is obviously unacceptable,” Chacon said. “We’ve been working on the call taking issue for quite some time. We’ve made strides and are getting more applicants than at any time in recent history, but it takes time to hire them and to train them. And as you can see, we still have shortages.”
Several car clubs from Austin and other cities in Texas planned the takeovers. One from San Antonio told people to “drive safely and remember the police.”