CMPD Continues To Crack Down On “Street Takeovers” Across Charlotte
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – CMPD states officers have shut down various meet-ups and towed several cars involved in dangerous stunts in the city since February.
On Saturday, May 14th, officers say they witnessed a white Chevy Silverado doing donuts near pedestrians and other vehicles at the intersection of Statesville Road and Sunset Road.
According to a tweet via CMPD, the driver, 19-year-old Luke Opyrchal was arrested and charged with reckless driving. His vehicle was towed and is currently being held as evidence.
The street takeovers continued as officers responded to two takeovers between May 19th and May 20th that included around 100 vehicles.
Officers say they witnessed a catering van doing donuts on Sirona Drive. According to CMPD, the driver was cited and the van was held for additional evidence. Two additional vehicles including a white Hyundai and a white Camaro were also towed according to CMPD.
Since February, CMPD says they have made a total of 22 arrests, towed or seized 56 vehicles, and issued over 95 citations related to street takeovers.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Frustrations are growing over street stunts taking over intersections in Uptown and across the city.
CMPD says hundreds of drivers took part in “street takeover” events in six police divisions over the weekend.
“It’s insanely loud. I mean, you know, I’m on the backside of the building and it you know, over the TV you can hear them,” says neighbor Dave Root.
Root says for the second weekend in a row, the stunt drivers took over the intersection of South Brevard and East Brooklyn Village Avenue, near the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
“Just revving engines and tires, people screaming. I mean it’s backed up, basically up to Tryon and all the way up this way,” Root says.
The “street takeovers” have been a problem across the city for years, but police say it’s become worse recently, including this past weekend.
“Literally hundreds of cars, in different groups, spread out across the city,” explains Major Dave Johnson, with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police.
Johnson says while the department has ramped up enforcement, they face challenges citing or arresting drivers.
“These street takeovers and burnouts do not rise to level of crime in which CMPD offices are authorized to pursue,” he says.
This past weekend, the department did issue 15 citations, made two arrests, seized eight vehicles, and seized one gun.
“I’d probably be pretty frustrated if I was driving and then they shut down the road, you know what I mean,” says neighbor Nick Secat.
Secat says he questioned why police aren’t doing more.
“That was always my concern, like why aren’t police stopping this, but I guess when police show up, they take off and all of them are pretty fast cars, I’m sure,” Secat says.
CMPD leaders say they’d like City Council and State Legislators to update ordinances on reckless driving, to put some more teeth into the laws.
That includes things like higher fines, making offenders pay thousands of dollars instead of hundreds, and the ability to seize cars for up to six months.