Atlanta police still battling street racers who they say continue harassing neighborhoods

ATLANTA — The challenge for police has been whenever they shut down a street racing event in one place, they seem to just pop up someplace else.

Atlanta police have added extra patrols and gotten help from the state and other departments, but the racers keep disrupting local streets.

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Ahead of the weekend, Atlanta police made it known on social media that if you are caught street racing in the city, you will go to jail.

APD Ready for the Weekend-Drag Racers, ATV Riders, and Other Menacing Drivers Alert! Not everyone, who visits Atlanta,...

Posted by City of Atlanta Police Department on Friday, May 21, 2021

So far, the warnings have not slowed the racers down. In April, several local police agencies did combine to bust one group in South Fulton, arresting nearly 80 people and impounded 45 cars.

Over the past five days, two different videos posted to social media showed street racers and ATV/Dirt Bike riders continue to gathering around the city.

Channel 2 Action News reporter Audrey Washington got one video from Bill White, the Chairmain of the Buckhead City Committee showing street racers in action on Northside Drive.

“As far as the drag racing, within in a week we had a major one over at Mount Paran church. A beautiful church on Northside Drive,” White said.

According to White, Buckhead has a real problem on its hands with multiple street racing and ATV rider issues plaguing the streets at night.

“Not only is the drag racing an assertion of control on the intersection because they don’t allow anyone from the four directions to pass through and they’re there for as much as an hour,” said White.


Wednesday, Atlanta police posted video of an ATV and dirt bike group blocking McDonough Blvd. When officers tried to break up the street racing, they took off and a police officer broke his wrist trying to stop them.

APD’s ACE Unit, Phoenix Air Unit, and Zone 6 Work Together to Track and Arrest Fleeing Suspect

On May 19, 2021, at around 7:30 p.m., Zone 6 officers were patrolling in the area of McDonough Blvd when they observed multiple ATVs and dirt bike riders. Upon approaching the crowd, officers observed a dirt bike rider attempting to do a stunt, and while doing so, the rider damaged a nearby vehicle and fell to the ground. Officers detained the individual and noticed a group of riders coming towards them. An officer on scene attempted to stop one of the riders as they headed towards him, and sustained a broken wrist. Grady was called to assist the injured officer. The riders fled the scene and then returned to the area and began taunting the officers. APD’s Phoenix Air Unit along with Auto Crimes Enforcement Unit (ACE) were contacted for immediate assistance. As the riders attempted to flee the scene again, the Phoenix Air Unit maintained a visual and was able to track one of the suspects on a dirt bike into Clayton County at 5995 Riverdale Rd. APD officers took the suspect into custody without incident. Each day our officers put their lives on the line to protect the City of Atlanta and reduce crime. While the community is relaxing in the comfort of their homes, our officers are out responding to 911 calls, helping people in crisis, and tracking down lawbreakers. APD will continue to use all available resources and the latest technology to locate and apprehend suspects who endanger others and prey on innocent victims. We want to thank the superior skills of our air unit and the Zone 6 officers who assisted in the apprehension of these individuals. Just another day on the beat and another example of our commitment to public safety and professionalism. #WeCatchBadGuys #AtlantaPolice Arrestees: 21-year-old Edward Miller, Atlanta, GA 20-year-old Leonides Mercardo, Norcross, GA Charges are pending.

Posted by City of Atlanta Police Department on Thursday, May 20, 2021

Police were able to arrest two of the riders, one on McDonough Blvd. and the other in Clayton County after a helicopter followed him to Riverdale Rd.

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For Bill White, having racers block traffic and create havoc is a problem not just in his community, but the entire Metro Atlanta area.

“I think it’s a real slap in the face because it’s the most unwelcome thing we can have in our neighborhood. It’s the most unwelcomed thing to have in any neighborhood,” White said.

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