Inside the BRPD street racing operation that led to 26 towed vehicles, 22 citations

BRPD towed 26 cars, issued 22 citations in weekend street racing operation
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It started around 7 p.m.

Baton Rouge Police had heard, through word of mouth and posts on social media, that stunt racers were planning to gather in the city Friday night, BRPD spokesman Lt. L’jean McKneely said. Over the course of four hours, they tracked dozens of racers across five different locations throughout town. 

Some were able to zoom away, their license plates either removed or concealed by devices that flip them away from view, McKneely said. In some cases, bystanders on foot blocked officers from pursuing.

But around 11 p.m., a large law enforcement presence cornered many of the racers in the parking lot of Capital Area Technical College on North Acadian Thruway.

By the end of the night, officers had issued dozens of citations and towed 26 cars, one of the largest busts in an ongoing crackdown over street racing, which both police and city leaders have identified as a growing problem in Baton Rouge. 

After they were caught, the racers and spectators were generally cooperative, McKneely said. The 26 vehicles were towed two at a time over the course of about four hours before the operation concluded at around 3 a.m. on Saturday.

Officers issued 22 citations to spectators of the event, three citations were issued for no insurance, two were issued for no driver’s license, one was issued for a switched plate, two misdemeanor summons were issued, one gun was seized and one felony arrest was made, according to BRPD.

While BRPD recently struck an agreement with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office to book people cited for stunt racing into the parish prison, none of those cited Friday were booked into the jail, McKneely said. That tool is generally reserved for repeat offenders or disorderly suspects, he added. 

BRPD launched pursuits of three different vehicles Friday night, but supervisors called the chases off after determining it wasn’t worth the risk to the public, McKneely said. None of those drivers were arrested that night because they either didn’t have a license plate or may have used a device to switch the license plate on their vehicle, McKneely said. 

BRPD has received scrutiny in recent months after four people, including three bystanders, were killed last year in crashes stemming from pursuits initiated by BRPD. In March, another bystander, 56-year-old Victor Remone Duncan, was killed when a suspect fleeing a BRPD traffic stop slammed into his truck at the intersection of North Acadian Thruway and Fairfields Avenue.

Friday’s operation was part of BRPD’s ongoing effort to deter stunt racing in Baton Rouge since its recent peak during the pandemic lockdown. 

The Metro Council has passed two ordinances that toughened the penalties for stunt racing by increasing fines, allowing for a 15-day hold on vehicles involved in the practice and allowing for spectators of the events to be cited. 

The practice of stunt racing in Baton Rouge has declined over the past couple years since pandemic restrictions ended and the council began toughening local ordinances around the practice, McKneely said, crediting the council’s legislation. 

“Once it starts effecting people’s pockets, it starts to deter them,” McKneely said. 

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About Mary Weyand 11096 Articles
Mary founded Scoop Tour with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the Automobile industry, she also contributes her knowledge for the Automobile section of the website.

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