ATLANTA — Atlanta’s mayor and interim Chief of Police say a crackdown on street racing, reckless driving and intersection takeovers is working.
Their efforts led to a dozen arrests over the weekend and the city impounding 10 cars believed to be involved. They were caught on camera in Buckhead and shutting down the downtown connector at 17th Street in midtown Atlanta.
Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach joined the city leaders at a news conference on Tuesday morning.
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Speaking in front of a red Dodge Challenger missing a back wheel, which was one of the vehicles impounded over the weekend, Mayor Andre Dickens said the message to street racers is they will end up in jail and could lose their car if they come into the city.
“Going into the summertime they already knew, on their networks saying Atlanta’s hot…going to lock you up. So they tried it again,” he said.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday, Atlanta police were notified of a large group of cars and spectators moving from Gwinnett County to DeKalb County and into Atlanta.
The same street racers are also suspected of being in South Fulton where they were being aggressive, shooting fireworks at officers and throwing things at police cars.
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Atlanta police say their network of cameras and policy of all officers, regardless of rank, all swarming to an area if there’s suspected street racing activity, led to making a dozen arrests.
One suspect was caught after speeding away from an intersection takeover in Buckhead at Lenox Road and Peachtree Road. Four others directly involved were arrested and sent to jail.
Five of the spectators filming or promoting the street racing were arrested and released. Two parents were also cited, according to police, for their juvenile children being out after curfew unsupervised.
“Investigators with the Atlanta Police Department are in multiple areas, following up on other vehicles,” said APD’s Interim Chief Darin Schierbaum. “We intend, if we have probable cause, to secure arrest warrants and search warrants. We have many hours of video we’re still combing through.”
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The mayor and police also said they are putting the remaining parts of the criminal justice system on notice and want to see those involved prosecuted fully.
“This is very serious. What you think is harmless, or doesn’t impact others, it has a grave consequence if you spin out of control and hurt someone, or, God forbid, kill someone, a child, or someone in the street,” said Dickens.
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