Police Crack Down On Street Drag Racing

Published: Mar. 12, 2007 at 9:34 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 13, 2007 at 10:48 PM CDT
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Recent movies like "The Fast And The Furious" glamorize street racing, but it is illegal. The Tyler Police Department says they've seen an increase in its popularity, some even leading to severe injuries. And that's why they're taking a zero tolerance approach. We went behind the scenes with Tyler PD during a sting operation to get drag racers out from behind the wheel and put them behind bars.

"We're starting to see an increase in racing on the roadways, not only that, we've had a couple of injuries as a result of the racing and we want to be a little bit more proactive versus reactive," says Officer Don Martin with the Tyler Police Department.

That's why Friday night the Tyler Police Department was out in full force, cruising the streets, looking for illegal drag racers. After about an hour and a half, they find a hotspot. It's a local carwash where cars are lined up and people are standing around talking.

"He has an orange cone flashlight like it's a starting baton so looks like things might be picking up," says Martin.

Meanwhile, Officer Martin gets word two people are being arrested for street racing off Broadway so we stop by.   Later, back at the carwash, dozens of cars and trucks leave the gathering spot and naturally we follow. They end up at the dead end of market place next to Gander Mountain.

We can hear the racing and then it's all caught on tape. Soon, police bust up the group and search the cars while taking names.

It's a successful night for Tyler PD. The suspected street racers are caught before anyone got hurt.

"They need to be aware that if they're going to race on the public streets and they get caught, they will go to jail for it," Martin says.

Tyler police arrested four men, now charged with Racing on a Highway: Christopher Lux, 18, Arturo Bautista, 22, Jeremiah Hammond, 19, all of Tyler, and Jeremiah Cagle, 18, of Lindale.

Tracy Watler/Reporting: tracy@kltv.com