'Dangerous activity' Street takeovers causing restless nights in NW Houston neighborhood

Lileana Pearson Image
Friday, March 3, 2023
Street takeovers causing restless nights in NW Houston neighborhood
ABC13 has reported on street take overs that have ended in miles long, high speed car chases. Often times drunk driving is involved.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Manuel Armada has lived near 22nd and Yale for about two years, and as street racing has become a problem in his neighborhood, he's had to take extra measures to keep his 2-year-old asleep through the night.

"In the middle of the night, you'll all of a sudden hear a lot of revving and just loud noises, so it wakes her up and impacts her sleep," Armada said.

They use sleep machines to drown out the sound, but sometimes she is scared awake.

"We could record it and use it as sound effects in a fast and furious movie," Armada said.

SEE ALSO: Illegal street racing in Richmond prompts warning from Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office

Revving and peeling out is more than an annoyance for this neighborhood.

"It's a family neighborhood, but it's with all the cars and, potentially, like people driving fast," Armada said. "We have to be very vigilant around here."

Neighbors think an advertised meet-up for motorcycle and car owners at a neighborhood bar could be to blame. Armada says the meetings are fine.

It's after that things get out of hand. It's the same sentiment top county and city law enforcement shared Thursday.

"And worse yet, we might not be gathered for a court case. It could be a funeral," Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said.

ABC13 found out that last year alone, the DA's office handled 1,000 street racing cases, which resulted in 200 cars being seized.

RELATED: Harris Co. street racing incidents nearly triple year-to-date during first 8 months of 2021

"Cars are deadly weapons. We see that evidence, unfortunately, every day," Ogg said.

ABC13 asked law enforcement if this has been a yearlong, state-wide issue, and why they are making a point of it now.

"One of the challenges is that it's very difficult...these meet-ups can sometimes develop in two minutes on social media, so it's very hard to anticipate where they will be at, and that's by their design," Harris County, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.

Law enforcement said, oftentimes, car meet-ups are well intended.

"Once they lease the event, then these kids or folk leave and go onto the street and do the illegal stuff," Gonzalez said.

ABC13 has reported on street takeovers that have ended in miles-long, high-speed car chases. Often drunk driving is involved, and last year alone, the Harris County Sheriff's Office made 400 street racing-related arrests that resulted in reclaiming 17 stolen cars.

SEE ALSO: Gov. Greg Abbott starts state task force on street takeovers after viral videos of Austin stunt

"This is a very dangerous activity. We find a lot of other illicit criminal activity that is common place with these events," Gonzalez said.

Armada says he hopes a crackdown works before something serious happens in his neighborhood.

"We try to mitigate this happening in a family-friendly neighborhood," Armada said.

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