top law-enforcement officials in the Harris County region warned
Thursday of severe consequences for those plotting illegal “street
takeovers” to promote street
racing or reckless driving like recent events in Austin and Houston.
people were injured in Austin – including a police officer – when large
groups of people blocked intersections two weekends ago to race
vehicles, do “doughnuts,”
set fires and light fireworks. A similar event involving 200 cars in
Houston last weekend resulted in multiple arrests, including one for
felony child endangerment.
Attorney Kim Ogg, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, Assistant Houston Police Chief
Wyatt Martin and DPS Regional Director Gerald Brown said such events are
to participants and nearby motorists and that the local response to
such events will be swift and aggressive.
are people who clearly value their cars more than they value the safety
of motorists around them,” Ogg said. “So our message to them is simple
and clear. You will
be arrested and prosecuted. And if you take over our streets, we will
take over your cars.”
law allows the District Attorney’s Office to pursue forfeiture of
vehicles that are used in such cases of organized criminal activity. The
office has seized more
than 200 vehicles involved in similar activity in the past two years,
and Ogg said her office will continue to use the law aggressively.
Gonzalez said cooperation is key to successful intervention.
stand shoulder to shoulder in our efforts to double down on our mission
to keep racing on the tracks and off our streets,” he said. “Don’t risk
your life or the lives
of others. The short-lived adrenaline and thrill aren't worth a
lifetime of heartache and devastation, if an innocent life is lost.
year, our Traffic Crimes Unit made 400 arrests, 49 guns were taken off
the streets, 30 vehicles were seized, and 17 stolen vehicles were
recovered,” he continued.
“We cannot do this alone. This truly is a collaborative effort on all
fronts. It takes all of us doing our part to address this serious
their remarks, Houston Assistant Police Chief Wyatt Martin and Texas
Department of Public Safety Regional Director Gerald Brown emphasized
the interagency partnership
as well and urged the public to report takeovers to law enforcement.